Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
News
News Categories

2 more Apple Stores opening in Singapore?

By Team HardwareZone - on 27 Mar 2019, 10:55pm

2 more Apple Stores opening in Singapore?

A dome-like structure has emerged from the water at MBS, where the third Apple flagship store will be sited, sources in the tech retail sector confirmed. It is said to be linked to the shopping centre by an underwater passageway, similar to the nearby Louis Vuitton maison boutique. (ST PHOTO: GIN TAY)

This article, by Irene Tham and Lester Wong, first appeared in The Straits Times on Mar 27, 2019.

Now there's one Apple, and soon there could be three in Singapore.

Tech giant Apple is aggressively expanding here, with plans to add two more stores in the coming months, sources told The Straits Times.

One will be at the upcoming lifestyle destination Jewel Changi Airport, and the other at integrated resort Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

A source close to Jewel Changi Airport - a mainly commercial development with play attractions - said the Apple store will not be ready before Jewel's exclusive sneak peek from April 11 to 16.

"But Apple may open as early as April 17 to coincide with Jewel's public opening," the source added.

Apple is notoriously secretive about its store plans; even fellow tenants have no idea about an Apple store's opening until days before. "We cannot even see the state of Apple's renovation," said the source close to Jewel.

Meanwhile, a dome-like structure has emerged from the water at MBS where the third Apple flagship store will be sited, sources in the tech retail sector confirmed.

The "island" store at MBS - the previous tenant was a nightclub - is said to be linked to the shopping centre by an underwater passageway, similar to the nearby Louis Vuitton maison boutique.

Apple, MBS and Jewel Changi Airport declined to comment when contacted.

Speculation over the opening of the second store started last September when Apple put up new job posts for retail staff for a location in the eastern part of Singapore.

This month, it put up another 13 new retail positions for "various locations within Singapore".

It opened its first store here at Knightsbridge mall in Orchard in May 2017. It was also the first Apple store in South-east Asia.

With slower growth in the sales of Apple's marquee product, the iPhone, some have wondered why it is going ahead with plans to launch more stores here.

One retailer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: "Some of Apple's new retail locations were committed a while ago."

Experts pointed to the 14 million tourists in Singapore last year who are the biggest target customers of the Apple-owned stores.

Insead visiting assistant professor of marketing Anirban Mukherjee noted that New York City has 10 Apple stores even though it has fewer tourists than Singapore.

"Paris, which had about 17 million tourists last year, has three Apple stores. London, which had about 20 million tourists, has five Apple stores. So having three Apple stores makes sense," he added.

Moreover, Apple has a limited presence in South-east Asia. For instance, there is no Apple store in India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

"Which other country in South-east Asia can you showcase your products?" said a source in the retail sector, noting that even though Singapore may be small, it is an important tourism node in the region.

Dr Seshan Ramaswami, associate professor of marketing education at Singapore Management University, said: "The locations at Jewel and MBS suggest that Singaporean customers are not the only target, but also tourists from Asian countries without an Apple store."

Source: The Straits Times.