SINGAPORE — The Apple store at Orchard Road — officially known as Apple Orchard Road — will open its doors to the public on Saturday (May 27) at 10am.
At a media preview on Thursday, Apple Retail senior marketing director Denny Tuza said he believes the it “will be among the most popular in the world”.
Here’s what you should know about Apple Orchard Road before its debut on Saturday.
DESIGNED TO KEEP CUSTOMERS COMING BACK
Apple has nearly 500 stores worldwide in 20 countries. Last year, the tech company rebooted its retail space design worldwide to improve customer experience.
The reboot was led by Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive and senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts. Mr Ive is most famed for designing the iPod, which paved the way for the iPhone and iPad. Ms Ahrendts meanwhile left Burberry in 2014 to join Apple and was ranked 25th in Forbes list of the most powerful women in the world in 2015.
Apple Orchard Road’s interior design is in many ways similar to those around the world.
The first floor is “The Avenue” where its core products — the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Macs — are on display, and also has “Windows” where peripheries are displayed according to categories like music, photography or gaming.
On the second floor, Apple attempts to evoke a “modern day town square” where customers can come to speak, learn or get tech support from the experts. The centrepiece is “The Forum”, with seats for customers to listen in to talks or workshops that can be screened on a large high definition display.
Flanking “The Forum” are two “Genius Groves”. Apple Orchard Road is the first in the world to have two, instead of one Grove. They replace the “Genius Bar” found in older Apple stores. A canopy of trees in each grove, with cushioned seats for customers to speak to its tech experts are the main feature.
When Apple first rebooted its stores, the idea was to get customers to see the products, learn how they all work together, and eventually buy into more products and services to improve their experience. To emphasise customer experience even further, Mr Tuza says its 36.6m long and 14m tall glass facade was “painstakingly” made to be extremely clear so as to blur the lines between the store and its exterior.
“We want to remove any obstacles between us and the local community,” he said.
Apple Orchard Road runs entirely on renewable energy, using rooftop solar installations provided by Singapore-based solar energy provider Sunseap Group. Apple’s current corporate office at One North is also entirely powered by solar energy, making the company the first in Singapore to run exclusively on renewable energy.
LEARNING FOR EVERYONE
Local photographers, film makers, musicians, illustrators, developers and entrepreneurs will be conducting a series of educational sessions at the store once it opens. This will come under the Today at Apple programme which launched worldwide on May 17.
The sessions will be held at “The Forum”. The company is also organising photo and sketch walks out of its store. For instance, there will be sessions in street photography or shooting in low light carried out by in-house creative pros, or the Red Dot Heroes – local experts engaged by Apple. On May 28, photographer Chia Aik Beng will be holding a session about street photography in Singapore from 11am to 12.30pm. There will also be a session for kids on movie making on May 31 from 10am to 11am.
Other sessions like coding or arts and design will also be held.
Apple Orchard Road will open daily from 10am to 10pm. It is located at Knightsbridge Mall, 270 Orchard Road, sandwiched between The Paragon and The Heeren.