Revamped Apple Sanlitun Store Opens in Beijing

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Apple today announced that the redesigned Apple Sanlitun store is opening for customers. Apple Sanlitun, located in the Taikoo Li Sanlitun mall in Beijing, was Apple's first store in China.

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The original store opened up in 2008, but Apple is replacing it with a new flagship store that's been under construction for several months. The updated store is adjacent to the original store, but it's twice the size.

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According to Apple, the redesigned store features many of the modern updates that Apple has been bringing to its retail locations, such as a Forum for Today at Apple sessions, a Viewing Gallery that overlooks the outdoor square, and a Boardroom where local businesses and entrepreneurs can get advice.

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"This store sets a new standard for Apple Retail in China and we're thrilled to build on our history in Beijing," said Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's senior vice president of Retail + People. "We look forward to operating Apple Sanlitun, and all of our stores around the world, with the health and safety of our customers and teams as our top priority."

There are 33-foot glass panels at the front of the store, signature staircases on both sides, Padang Light stone flooring sourced from the Shandong province, and Sophora japonica trees, which are the official tree of Beijing.

Apple Sanlitun features Apple's first integrated solar array built into a retail store in China, and it allows the location to run on renewable energy like the rest of Apple's facilities worldwide.

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Apple Sanlitun is opening at 10:00 a.m. CST, and Apple is implementing safety measures like temperature checks, social distancing, and masks.

Top Rated Comments

szw-mapple fan Avatar
38 months ago

Not trying to come across as hating on these foreign countries, but how come Apple keeps building these amazing looking stores overseas and not here in the US? I realize we have a handful over here but the vast majority of them are the small boring variant, compared to the cool looking ones Europe and Asia continue to get.
Because each country gets a “handful” of the flagship stores in big cities with lots of traffic. Only those gets any media coverage, so it may seem that there are more impressive architecture overseas when most of them are the exception there as well. Also, a lot American apple stores were from an earlier era when Apple was mostly opening smaller stores in malls and didn’t focus too much on the outer design of each.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
38 months ago

Not trying to come across as hating on these foreign countries, but how come Apple keeps building these amazing looking stores overseas and not here in the US? I realize we have a handful over here but the vast majority of them are the small boring variant, compared to the cool looking ones Europe and Asia continue to get.
The US is basically a third world country when it comes to infrastructure and architecture.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theorist9 Avatar
38 months ago

Not trying to come across as hating on these foreign countries, but how come Apple keeps building these amazing looking stores overseas and not here in the US? I realize we have a handful over here but the vast majority of them are the small boring variant, compared to the cool looking ones Europe and Asia continue to get.
I'll offer three reasons:
(1) Most of the Apple stores in the US are older. The foreign stores in these articles are the newest stores, and benefit from Apple's ever-improving and and increasingly bold design aesthetic. Also, perhaps because of how commerical retain space is configured in this country, fewer of the US Apple stores are stand-alone creations; and you need a store to be stand-alone to get creative with the achitecture. When Apple has constructed new flagship US stand-alone stores, it has tried to be bold with the design, such as the glass cube store in Manhattan. And remember that this store is from 2016:




(2) The stores you see in articles about new Apple stores are not the average foreign Apple store, but the best of the best.

(3) Apple probably pays particular attention to these flagship foreign stores, since these act as "brand ambassadors". In the US, people are more used to Apple, so the design of the stores, while important, has less influence.


In many countries, Apple products are luxury items because an iPhone costs what most people earn in a couple of months. It is like having a Rolex. In order to sell, you must provide a boutqiue experience in your retail stores.

In the US on the other hand, even the homeless have iPhones and most people can buy a new iPhone with their weekly paycheck. The go-to-the-market strategy is completly different so spending a tremendous amount of money and effort to createa boutique experience for US customers has no sense and does not improve sales.
There may be some truth to that, but I don't think that's necessarily the primary driver. Consider, for instance, the Apple store in Opera, Paris, which is in a high-income area, yet is stunning. Indeed, I would say that, while the Sanlitun store is lovely (particularly its exterior), the Opera store's interior is closer to what I would describe as "boutique":

https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/beautiful-apple-stores/




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Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NavySilver Avatar
38 months ago
One of my favorites recently, along with the Tokyo Marunouchi and Chicago stores. It’s reassuring that Apple is still committed to physical retail.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ian87w Avatar
38 months ago

Not trying to come across as hating on these foreign countries, but how come Apple keeps building these amazing looking stores overseas and not here in the US? I realize we have a handful over here but the vast majority of them are the small boring variant, compared to the cool looking ones Europe and Asia continue to get.
I'm sure whatever Apple does in the US, there will be protestors waiting to protest them how the Apple store prevents their dogs to pee on their favorite spot (intentional hyperbole for sarcasm purposes). Meanwhile, such criticism in countries like China tend to go on the wayside.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SoGood Avatar
38 months ago
Fantastic store! I concur, for the few times I've been to the Sanlitun store, it did feel a little cramped.


Not trying to come across as hating on these foreign countries, but how come Apple keeps building these amazing looking stores overseas and not here in the US?
That's not quite true as Apple has been revamping US stores too. Otherwise, China is Apple's largest growth market and similar to other O/S stores, they don't regularly get looted as for the US stores. So these are secure investments for Apple in their operation.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)