Apple is opening a new “global flagship” Apple Store in Melbourne, Australia.
Australia’s minister for tourism and major events John Eren described the new venue as being a “major drawcard for visitors and locals,” that would breath “new life into one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks.”
The spectacular new two-storey store Apple Store have a slightly smaller footprint than the existing buildings on the site, which will open up nearly 500 square metres of new public space. Construction on the store is due to begin in 2019, with the grand opening planned for 2020.
The store will be located in Melbourne’s Federation Square, which first opened in 2002. Officials hope that the new global flagship will attract an extra two million people every year once it opens its doors.
Not everyone’s happy
However, the plans have already prompted criticism from some Melbourne residents, who suggest that opening an Apple Store in the square represents commercialization of a space that should be use for public events and cultural institutions like the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria. In addition, the space has been utilized for public vigils and protests.
“We’re thrilled to move forward in the planning process for our new home in Melbourne’s Federation Square and would be honoured to call the world-class galleries and museums of Melbourne our neighbours,” said Apple’s senior vice-president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, in a statement.
Apple hasn’t always had a warm reception in Australia. Previously, the company has clashed with Australian banks over their willingness to work with Apple to launch Apple Pay. Specifically, Apple has claimed the banks act as a “cartel” trying to slow innovation and protect the 66 percent of Australian credit card balances and 70 percent of household deposits they currently hold.
Hopefully the path to a new Apple Store won’t be met with too many roadblocks and hurdles along the way.
Via: The Guardian