Apple opens massive flagship in China

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Apple Beijing flagship interior

Apple has closed its first-ever store in mainland China, opening a new store twice its size.

The new Apple Sanlitun, in Beijing, is located immediately adjacent to the old site.  It opens with   with the same comprehensive health and safety procedures currently in place across all Apple Store locations for employees and visitors, including a mask requirement, temperature checks, and social distancing before entry and once inside.

The  store, which is in keeping with  Apple's current flagship design language, is reminiscent of Apple’s Chicago (Michigan Avenue) flagship with its signature glass facade and overhanging wood-finished roof and stone sides. Thirty-three foot glass panels, fabricated in Xiamen, China, blur the barrier between inside and out, and signature staircases on either side of the store run parallel with exterior stairs to create further transparency and flow.

The floors are clad in Padang Light stone from the Shandong province, and the west terrace is lined with Sophora japonica, the official tree of Beijing.

The flagship features many of Apple’s latest retail design updates, including a forum, viewing gallery, and boardroom. The forum will be the future home for Today at Apple, where the store will host Beijing's greatest artists, musicians, and creatives who will showcase and teach their process. 

The viewing gallery, situated within the grand upper level, offers a vantage point for the lively outdoor square. Local businesses and entrepreneurs can get personal advice and guidance from the Apple team in the store’s dedicated boardroom. 

The new Apple also features Apple’s first integrated solar array in a retail store in China. The array will provide power to the store below, which, like all Apple facilities worldwide, runs exclusively on renewable energy. Apple is supporting enough clean energy in China to power more than 450,000 homes each year.