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Apple Inc opens its biggest store in Asia

(Shanghai Daily)

11:14, September 24, 2011

Employees cheer in front of Apple's newest store, which opened on Nanjing Road East in Shanghai yesterday. China's mainland now has five Apple Stores, three in Shanghai and two in Beijing. Hong Kong's first Apple store will open today.

Shanghai--Apple Inc yesterday opened its largest retail store in Asia - and its third in Shanghai - on Nanjing Road East yesterday, bringing the total number of its retail stores to five on China's mainland.

About 300 employees greeted customers while wearing specially designed T-shirts at the store, located at the end of the pedestrian street, one of the most bustling areas of the city.

"I started to queue for the opening around 10 PM on Thursday and I want to see what's new in the shop at the earliest time," said Cui Lizhen, who was the first to enter the brand new store.

Cui, who runs a start-up firm, said he arrived from Jilin Province, in China's northeast, on Wednesday. He bought four accessories for iPod and Mac for around 1,500 yuan (US$234).

The US company opened its first store in Shanghai in Pudong New Area last June and launched another one on Huaihai Road M. in September.

Hong Kong will also welcome its first Apple retail store at the International Finance Center mall today. Apple, the maker of iPhone and iPad, had said it hopes to open 25 stores in the mainland and Hong Kong by February 2012.

The four-story Apple Store on Nanjing Road East will occupy two floors for display and training and another two for check-out and offices.

In China, shipments of the iPhone, Apple's best-selling product, jumped to 2 million in the second quarter, compared with 300,000 a year ago, according to the technology research agency Gartner.

"We will launch new stores on China's mainland as soon as the potential sites meet our requirements," a senior official from Apple's retail department said during a media tour earlier this week.


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