Shanghai Apple store opens: ‘Apple Shanghai waits for you’
The wait is over, the Shanghai Apple store is officially open -- and it has the crowds to prove it.
At 10am the cylindrical 40-foot glass store entrance next to Shanghai’s International Financial Center (IFC) Mall threw open its doors to the cheers of the thousands of fans who waited in a line which circled the plaza, all under the watchful eyes of the 175 blue-clad Apple store employees.
Cheering as they came upstairs to greet the crowd, the Apple employees, ascended from the underground store -- Apple’s 295th and now the largest in Asia -- like cheerleaders, yelling: “This is Apple! We are apple!” and then “Apple Shanghai 等你来” [Apple Shanghai waits for you to come.] The employees interacted with the crowd handing out high fives before starting a wave with those waiting in line.
Who needs to watch World Cup action when there’s an Apple Store opening?
When the Apple Beijing store opened, I missed it because I was sick, but here I can fulfill my dream of being the first person into the Apple Store.— Qi'e, first person in line for Shanghai Apple Store opening
Fully stocked, the 1,500 square meter-store offers a wide variety Macs, iPods and iPhones for customers to play with, as well as the world's largest Genius Bar. The store also features China's first Briefing Room for free business workshops. Product prices at the Shanghai stores are the same as those at the Beijing store, Apple’s first China store which opened in the summer 2008.
The first 5,000 people to enter the Shanghai Apple Store received Apple T-shirts, made by (in an ironic twist) American Apparent.
The first person on line was 27-year-old, Jilin Province native who goes by the name 企鹅 (Qi'e, Penguin). He had been waiting over 60 hours by the time he entered the store. Once Qi'e had secured his place in line, he was able to leave for up to an hour at a time to get food or use the restroom.
Well, was it all worth it?
“To be first in line for the Apple Shanghai store opening has been my dream,” Qi'e says. “When the Apple Beijing store opened, I missed it because I was sick, but here I can fulfill my dream of being the first person into the Apple Store.”
Although he wasn’t sure which item he would play with first, he was just happy to be there. “It’s about feeling the atmosphere of the opening, because this is by far the biggest and best Apple Store in China.”
Apple Store openings are frequently reserved for the company’s young fan base who are happy to stand for hours on line. However, one member of the Shanghai crowd stood out, 81-year-old Shanghai native Mr Gao. He had only waited a few hours, but he was welcomed quickly inside by Apple employees happy to see the enthusiasm spread to China’s older generation.
As for why he braved the crowds and Shanghai’s infamous summer heat to see the store, his answer is simply, “I heard so much about this place, I just wanted to look around.”
For those who still can bring themselves to hop over the river -- or brave the crowds we’re sure will inhabit the store for weeks to come -- a second Shanghai Apple Store is under construction in Hong Kong Plaza and is rumored to be opening later this summer with a possible third Shanghai store to follow.
Shanghai Apple Store - Pudong
8 Century Avenue, Shanghai IFC Mall, Store LG2-27
陆家嘴世纪大道 8 号, 上海国金中心 IFC 商场LG2－27 号店铺
+86 21 6084 6800