Apple to Open First Retail Store in Brazil on February 15
Apple has confirmed on its website that it will be opening its first retail store in Brazil on Saturday, February 15. The store will be located in Rio de Janeiro's famous Barra da Tijuca borough, located at the VillageMall luxury shopping center.
The news follows a report from last October stating that Apple was planning to open its first store in the South American country between February and March 2014, giving the location a few months to be up and running before the start of the FIFA World Cup being held in Rio during the months of June and July.
The prior report also stated that Apple would be seeking some of its U.S. Apple retail employees to temporarily relocate to Brazil to educate local employees about Apple retail procedures and act as in-store workers. However, it is unclear as to whether Apple actually followed through on the initiative or not. Apple's difficulty in recruiting employees for its Brazilian store was reportedly one of the reasons as to why the company could not open the store in July as originally intended.
Apple began hiring for its first Brazilian retail stores in November 2012, and has been working with Foxconn to move some iPhone and iPad production to the country to avoid hefty import taxes and allow Apple to expand its market share. Last October, a regulatory agency also granted Apple the authorization needed to sell the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in Brazil, as both phones launched in the country shortly thereafter. It was also reported earlier this week that the company will restart iPhone 4 production in order to sell the device in Brazil, India, and Indonesia.