Yes, I admit I am a huge Apple fanboy. Yes, I know this is my restaurant and food review opinion site(blog). But I had to post about the new official Apple Store in Pudong, Shanghai.
I didn’t even know about it, till a week before it was going to open – understandably by Apple’s tight lipped decision and design. But once I saw the unveiled curtains, I recognized the similarity of the Fifth Avenue store in New York City, which I also visited years ago. In the heart of the financial district of Shanghai, the Pudong district, Apple made it mark in the business center of China.
Like other new openings of Apple retail stores, Apple also gave away gifts to the first day customers. Apple made sure the people who were in line, overnight, got free T-Shirts. I thought it was kinda funny, how there T-Shirts were made in the US. I also read that Apple provided for bathroom facilities as well as indoor air conditioned camping space, at the unfinished IFC shopping mall, next door. Also, a few days later, when there were still lines, Apple gave everyone umbrellas to use while they were waiting in the rain. But you had to return the nice big black Apple logo’d umbrellas, once you got inside. Apple seems to do everything just a little different, even the way they treat customers.
Once inside the store, it was as if I was in the US, with the same style of retail space and furnishings. Except everything was bigger. You notice the little round soft balls for kids to play with iMac’s. The large display tables, which look simple, yet are complicated, are thesame ones from the same company from the US, with slots for cords, cables, printers, drawers all hidden underneath. The store is divide into two main areas – one for computers – iMac’s, MacBook’s, and accessories, and the other for portables – iPhones, iPods, and future iPad’s. In the back, there’s a room called the “Briefing Room.” I understand this area is for intimate sessions with sales for corporate customers. I believe this retail store is also a showroom for potential large accounts, like large companies, educational institutions, and perhaps government contracts. One area missing, was the “theater” area, where you could sit in and learn about mac products and software. But I think they had a makeshift one just below the stairs with a bunch of stools and a small stage. There is The Genius Bar was 3 times as long, maybe longer than the one in Pasadena.
Any chance I see an apple store, most likely I will jump in just to mosey around. In 2004, I was in Tokyo just after they open the 4 story Ginza store. I was reading that they had a line that stretched almost 4000 people when it first opened. In 2008, I was waiting in line, unsuccessfully, for the new iPhone 3G at the New York City Fifth Avenue Store.
I think the Pudong store will succeed, but I think their biggest challenge will be their high price points for Chinese consumers. Aside from that, Apple can control and will want to make their walled garden experience as complete as possible, from the purchase experience online or in stores, with their great packaging design and manufacturing, and all the way with their products and software.
My name is Jimmy and yes, I am an Apple fanboy.
Apple Store Pudong (Shanghai)
上海市浦东新区陆家嘴世纪大道 8 号
上海国金中心 IFC 商场 LG2－27 号店铺
No.8 Century Avenue IFC Mall
Shop LG2-27, Lujiazui
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