Apple opens fourth retail store in Hong Kong’s ‘Fifth Avenue’ amid plan to bolster presence in city by 45 per cent

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 July, 2015, 3:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 3:17pm

Apple will open the doors to its fourth retail outlet in Hong Kong on Thursday, in the tourist-heavy district of Tsim Sha Tsui. This is part of an expansion plan that will see the brand ramp up its physical presence in the city by almost 50 per cent.

It is the tech giant’s 23rd retail location in greater China, including Taiwain, which marks Apple’s second-largest market after the United States. Globally, the company had 456 Apple retail stores worldwide as of June 27, with 190 located outside the US.

The latest Apple Store features a transparent, floor-to-ceiling facade built using 45-foot-high slabs of laminated glass. These cover two of its three storeys.

It will have a large corner dedicated to Beats headphones and audio accessories. Apple bought Beats for US$3 billion in May 2014.

"Canton Road is like Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London and Wangfujing in Beijing. We had to be here," Richard Hames, Apple's marketing director for greater China, said on Wednesday. 

"Many of our highly trafficked stores are in the greater China region," he added.

Wangfujing is famous for its snacks and designer brands and is located close to the Forbidden City in the Chinese capital.

This is the first store in Hong Kong designed by Foster and Partners, the same company that is working on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California, Hames said. The campus includes a group of offices spread over one site as well as a school campus.

Britain's largest architectural firm also designed the so-called West Lake Apple Store that opened in April in tourist-friendly Hangzhou, the wealthy capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China.

Apple plans to have 40 stores in greater China by the middle of next year, according to comments made by its chief executive, Tim Cook, in October.

It has 19 retail sites in 10 cities across mainland China, including Chengdu and Chongqing in the heart of the country; Tianjin, a huge industrial city near Beijing; and Wuxi, in southern Jiangsu province.

The first Apple Store in Hong Kong was a two-level location that opened in September 2011 at the IFC Mall in the Central business district. 

Two more opened the following year: a one-level store in Kowloon in September, and a huge three-level store in Causeway Bay in December.

In just four years “we have welcomed about 30 million visitors” at the three locations, Hames said.

The new store, also situated in Kowloon, adds 280 personnel to Apple’s Hong Kong-based retail staff, taking the total to 1,500. This is likely to grow further as the Central store will soon be expanded to three levels, Hames said.

The overall impact will be to “increase our [retail] presence in Hong Kong by about 45 per cent," he added.