New Apple Stores can still draw crowds in China (video)

But someone called Luv Letter who flew to central China just for the opening was disappointed.

From Malcom Owen's "Crowds flock to opening of Changsha Apple Store" posted Saturday on Apple Insider:

The opening of a new Apple Store in Changsha, China has been attended by a large crowd of people, lining up in queues to gain access to the retail outlet for the first time...

"We are thrilled to be opening in Changsha, a community filled with creativity and profound cultural heritage," said Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's senior vice president of Retail + People. "So many of our team members already call Hunan province home, and they are ready to welcome and support their neighborhood at Apple Changsha."

Luv Letter's first-hand report had a very different flavor:

Some people say that buildings such as Apple Store and Apple Park are also Apple products. Unfortunately, compared to the reopening of Sanlitun [in Beijing], the design of Changsha Apple is full of compromises.

For example, the Changsha City Fire Department and IFS have been wrestling with the design problems of the first and second floors for many years. As a result, under the increasing traffic of Changsha Wuyi Square, they chose to compromise to a single-story design. The irony is that the [queue] on the day of opening [stretched] until two or three in the afternoon.

Cue Luv Letter's video:


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    I was about to bail on the YouTube link when halfway through a 9 minute video, suddenly, there was the first inkling this was about Apple’s new store, and not a documentary of someone’s first ever flight. Luv Letter knows nothing about video composition, and even less about what it means when Apple opens another Store, not to mention that there was a significant line of devotees lined up to get inside.

    September 5, 2021
  2. Rodney Avilla said:
    There are probably zillions of videos and comments about the store opening. I assume there must be some reason why PED gave luv letter a nine minute megaphone an apple 3.0. Some information he felt we should know. I guess I am still wondering what that was,
    since I think I may have missed it.

    September 5, 2021
    • “There are probably zillions of videos and comments about the store opening.”

      I found two videos, and one was shot in vertical mode. Sorry for the first five minutes.

      September 6, 2021
  3. Dan Scropos said:
    The lines are important. The other miscellaneous video content is not. What this shows is that people are still excited by Apple products and Services. More than anything else, these lines show the power of the Apple brand, and that it is still strong. The traffic is a testament to the strength and need of the Apple/customer relationship. Like any strong relationship, one compliments the other.

    The retail experience, failed and gone for so many other “tech” companies, will give Apple an even larger lead as their their strategic focus continues to evolves. These aren’t “Stores” and I wish Apple would drop that moniker. They’re schools and life enrichment centers. They’re hubs for creativity and learning. They’re how we communicate, work, express ourselves, and they’re also how Apple does that same thing.

    Apple’s retail focus has always been on reciprocal learning, and in my experience *that* is what the competitors have missed. They went louder, bigger, brighter, and bolder, yet felt creatively empty and devoid of learning, and now they have the physical emptiness to match.

    September 6, 2021
  4. This about Changsha, a city of approximately 10 million, the largest in Hunan Province. Hunan is one of the largest sub-national economies in the world. Hunan’s economic output is not quite as big as California but still over a $1 trillion.
    The Chinese government is clearly supportive of Apple’s retail expansion. Other Western retailers have not fared so well. This store is a physical measure of success and how secure Apple feels about doing business in China.
    Big investors & retailers are keen to keep track of new store openings, new & same-store sales.
    As Luv hints, getting this store built and open was a major challenge. Mumbai seems even tougher.

    September 6, 2021
  5. Bart Yee said:
    IMO, the most important thing to note is that the Apple Store employees and Apple Store queue customers were almost 100% younger than 40 years old. All of them wanted to immerse themselves in the Apple Store opening experience that so many others have gone through in years past. These same customers will pass on their experience through social media and encourage others to join them, especially when the new iPhones are introduced. Even in a pandemic with all in line masked, a sense of excitement, community, and yes, glitz, was attracting people from all over, even Luv Letter from afar. If China is coming back from its Covid experience and if their economy is improving, then can Apple’s continued growth in China not be assured through even more personal interaction through Apple Stores?

    IMO, this video shows the Apple enthusiasm of its Chinese users and the high potential to keep growing in China. This store is Changsha’s own and will be a valuable magnet for Apple.

    And regarding its one story “compromise” design, it’s not the look or layout, but it’s the heart that Apple has for its users, and bringing the Apple experience to them.

    September 7, 2021

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