Most of Apple Inc.’s 510 locations worldwide remain closed, but the global technology company has opened its latest glass palace in China, the Cupertino, California firm announced.
The new Apple store opened Friday (July 17) at Taikoo Li Sanlitun, a Beijing shopping center that features 1.3 million square feet of retail space.
At 77,000 square feet, the new Apple Sanlitun is more than twice the size of the original store at the mall that opened in 2008. The original store had 52 employees. The new store has to 185 team members.
Apple said it is opening with the same health and safety procedures in place across all Apple Store locations for employees and visitors, including a mask requirement, temperature checks and social distancing.
“This store sets a new standard for Apple Retail in China and we’re thrilled to build on our history in Beijing,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, in a statement. “We look forward to operating Apple Sanlitun, and all of our stores around the world, with the health and safety of our customers and teams as our top priority.”
The shop features several retail design updates, including a Forum that will showcase Beijing’s artists and musicians; the Viewing Gallery on the upper level offers views of the outdoor plaza square; there’s a Boardroom where businesses and entrepreneurs can get advice from the Apple team; and customers will have plenty of room to meet with a Genius, Apple’s tech experts.
Like all Apple facilities, Sanlitun is powered by solar and runs exclusively on renewable energy, enough to power more than 450,000 homes each year.
Since the original store opened 12 years ago, Apple Sanlitun has welcomed more than 22 million visitors, the population of Beijing. The 33-foot glass panels were manufactured in Xiamen, and its signature staircases on either side of the store run parallel with exterior stairs to create further transparency and flow, Apple said. The store’s glass panels, fabricated in Xiamen, China, blur the barrier between inside and out.
This week, O’Brien told employees a full opening of Apple won’t occur until next year.
In a video conference call with its workforce last weekend, O’Brien encouraged employees to serve customers from home.
In June, Apple reported its App Store fostered $519 billion in sales around the world last year. The areas with the highest value were physical goods and services followed by digital goods and services and in-app advertising, Apple said.