Apple is set to open its 23rd Apple Store in China this week — with Hong Kong’s fourth retail outlet opening its doors, Thursday local time, in the city’s tourist-heavy Tsim Sha Tsui district.
This represents another step in Apple’s massive Chinese retail expansion, which Tim Cook has said will result in 40 stores in China by the middle of 2016.
In terms of positioning, Apple’s marketing director for Greater China, Richard Hames, likens the new Hong Kong store to Apple’s existing flagship stores on Fifth Avenue in New York, or Regent Street in London. “We had to be here,” Hames said.
Apple’s first Hong Kong store opened in September 2011, shortly after Tim Cook took over as Apple CEO. It was based in Hong Kong’s central business district’s IFC Mall. Two more Hong Kong Apple Stores opened the year after, with a one-level store in Kowloon, and a three-level store in the city’s Causeway Bay.
In four years, the three Hong Kong stores have “welcomed about 30 million visitors,” says Richard Hames.
During Apple’s recent earnings call, Tim Cook revealed that Apple has seen outstanding revenue growth of 112 percent and iPhone unit growth of 87 percent in the Greater China region.
Cook has previously been outspoken about his belief that China will soon represent Apple’s biggest international market, and admitted that the company designs its new products with the Chinese audience in mind.
This week’s new Hong Kong Apple brick-and-mortar retail outlet was designed by Foster and Partners, the architectural firm currently working on Apple’s new spaceship campus. The firm also designed the West Lake Apple Store which opened this April in Hangzhou, capital of the Zhejiang province in eastern China.