The expansion of Apple into China has not been a secret for quite some time now, but Apple’s retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, wants to make it perfectly clear that China is a major region for Apple going forward.Ahrendts recently spoke with China’s Xinhua News Agency, and during that conversation revealed that Apple’s going more aggressive when it comes to retail and China. To put a point on it, Ahrendts revealed that Apple will be opening up five new Apple Stores within China in the next five weeks. As expected, Apple is planning these new store openings with the Chinese New Year holiday, February 19. Ahrendts also noted that four of these openings are in new cities for Apple.
“We are opening five new stores before the Chinese New Year this year. Four of the stores are in brand new cities for us,” Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores, told Xinhua in a telephone interview.“
Two of the five stores are already known, including the Apple Store that opened in Zhengzhou recently, and, on January 24, the Westlake Apple Store in Hangzhou will open its doors. With these new locations, that will mean Apple has 20 retail shops open in China and Hong Kong. That’s just the start, though, as Apple has a goal of having 40 stores within the Greater China area within the next few years.
“Ahrendts said Apple is hiring in China. The biggest challenge she sees is keeping up with demand while providing the same global customer service standards. She would not say where the other three other stores will be, but Apple’s China website lists store jobs in 15 places, including Anhui, Guizhou, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Shanxi and Tianjin, none of which currently have Apple stores. One store in Shanghai is the busiest globally, receiving more than 25,000 visitors a day.“
Indeed, Apple has a major focus on China, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.