Saturday, July 19, 2008
Taking a Bite out of Beijing
The Apple Store has finally arrived in the Chinese capital.
It was unveiled this morning to what appears to be a large queue, as the people had to pass through a maze of ropes to get into the two-storey glass building.
We checked it out around dinnertime and the place was still busy with people eager to try out all kinds of Apple goods, from computers and laptops to iPods, and the iTouch. No iPhones were available.
The store is laid out to entice people to have a seat and try the gadgets, while "Apple specialists" wandered around to answer any questions customers had in either Chinese or English.
Outside on a giant screen was the colourful iPod ad played over and over again, and periodically with music. It definitely jazzes up the courtyard-like space which would be perfect for one giant outdoor dance party. But this being China, the chances of that happening are slim.
Nevertheless, the verdict of the Apple store is a big thumbs up from Apple fans. Prices, unfortunately are a bit higher, by about 10 percent, due to a luxury tax slapped on all imported goods.
The Apple Store is in "The Village" in Sanlitun, where other cool stores like Nike, Adidas, Uniqlo, Starbucks, and Cold Stone Creamery are open or will open soon.
The Village has definitely made Sanlitun more of a destination other than bars and restaurants, an also connects other areas together. It is now very close to The Hidden City 1949, as well as Worker's Stadium and Cotton Market or Yaxiu.
Making the neighbourhood more cohesive can only bring more people to the area, either discovering new places, or encouraging regulars to linger longer.
Looks like this area is becoming my new hangout...