The largest Apple Store in Asia was opened this weekend in Beijing’s Wangfujing area, but unlike previous Apple-paloozas in China’s capital, no mass incidents occurred and shoppers were able to feed their compulsions undisturbed.
Although the store is Apple’s third location in Beijing, hundreds of people began lining up on Friday evening to gain admission to the store which opened on Saturday morning.
Commenting (in more ways that one) on the appeal of Apple and its product to the company’s devoted followers in China, high school student Wang Xueang told the Wall Street Journal that, “Their goal isn’t to make money but to change the world, and it’s a culture we should learn from.”
While the products on sale at this Apple Store are the same aluminum and glass gadgets that can be had at any of the company’s outlets or distributors, what is special is that this is apparently the largest Apple Store in China to date. While the company declined to state how many square metres the shop occupies, they did disclose that it employs 300 workers, and the company’s retail store employees in Beijing alone now total 800.
Apple now operates six stores in mainland China — three in Beijing and three in Shanghai. A seventh store is planned to open later this year in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
According to Apple, its third-quarter revenue in Greater China (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) rose to US$5.7 billion in 2012 — a 48% increase over its sales in 2011.