Apple to open 'several' new Japanese stores in 5 years, remodel existing locations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 21
Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts this week said the company plans a major Japanese investment that will see the opening of new retail outlets and an extensive renovation of existing locations over the next five years.


Apple store in Omotesando. | Source: Apple


In an interview with Nikkei, spotted by Mac Otakara, Ahrendts said Apple has a "five year plan" for reinvesting in Japan.

Currently, Japan accounts for about 9 percent of Apple's sales, with a large chunk of revenue generated through online purchases or third-party resellers. Unlike the U.S. or the UK, which boast numerous Apple-run stores, Japanese customers can only visit six locations, seven if you include an outlet in Tokyo's Shibuya ward that is temporarily closed for renovations.

For perspective, Ahrendts said Apple now has 501 stores in operation worldwide.

That will soon change, however, as the company plans to open a new store in Shinjuku next month. Though not a flagship, Shinjuku will be the first in Japan to sport a "town square" design concept common to most recently opened Apple outlets, Ahrendts said.

"Starting with Shinjuku, we will open several new stores, and existing stores will also undergo extensive renovation," she said.

A collaboration between Ahrendts and CDO Jony Ive, the "town square" concept aims to make Apple stores, and the products that lie within, a central hub for shoppers and passersby. Often nestled in a cocoon made of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, elements like custom-made wooden accessory displays and demonstration tables, large spaces for educational presentations and a wide-open sales floor create an environment suitable for internal initiatives like Ahrendts' Today at Apple sessions.

Launched last year, the Today at Apple program sees Creative Pros guide customers through tailor-made lessons covering music, photography, videography, drawing and more on Apple products like iPad and Mac. Special events include live performances by local musicians and artists, all of which are free to attend.

Apple hosts about 15,000 Today at Apple sessions each week at participating stores around the world, Ahrendts said. She added that there are already some customers who have returned to their local store six times to participate in different sessions, citing data from a survey program that began in January.

While Ahrendts declined to detail where Apple plans to expand within Japan, she did mention previous discussions about Tokyo being ripe for investment. When the Shinjuku outlet opens, the nation's capital will boast four full-size Apple stores and an Apple Watch pop-up.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Makes sense to make an investment like this in Japan; I didn’t realize Japan was responsible for such a large portion of Apple’s sales—or that their retail presence was so lacking. 

    Interesting stats on the Today at Apple program, too. I took my 10 year old niece and nephew to the similar Apple Camp program in the summer of 2016 and they had a blast learning how to use iMovie. No selling to the adults but such a smart way to build on the Apple customer relationship. 
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 2 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,462member
    Hopefully next we see a five year plan for one store in Ireland. Cause all countries deserve at least one store.
    edited March 22
  • Reply 3 of 12
    with all the recent failures of Retail companies (eg ToysRUs etc) will Apple and Amazon be the only retails stores left in 3-5 years?
    Well, apart from local shops that is.

    Then Amazon will bid for Apple... :) :wink:  ;)
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 141unconfirmed, member
    with all the recent failures of Retail companies (eg ToysRUs etc) will Apple and Amazon be the only retails stores left in 3-5 years?
    Well, apart from local shops that is.

    Then Amazon will bid for Apple... :) :wink:  ;)
    In your dreams!!! Amazons doom is coming.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,618member
    ireland said:
    Hopefully next we see a five year plan for one store in Ireland. Cause all countries deserve at least one store.
    I don't think all countries will get a store, however I bet at least one will come to Ireland eventually. Perhaps Dublin?
  • Reply 6 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,618member

    with all the recent failures of Retail companies (eg ToysRUs etc) will Apple and Amazon be the only retails stores left in 3-5 years?
    Well, apart from local shops that is.

    Then Amazon will bid for Apple... :) :wink:  ;)

    If Amazon continues on its path, I have a feeling it will be sued and broken up. They're starting to chart in some sketchy waters with some of the stuff they're doing. 
  • Reply 7 of 12
    red oakred oak Posts: 617member
    Apple does not need ‘several’ new stores in Japan.  It needs another 15-20

    Tokyo alone could support 5 stores 
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 8 of 12
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 375member
    ireland said:
    Hopefully next we see a five year plan for one store in Ireland. Cause all countries deserve at least one store.
    You’ve got Apple’s European headquarters. What more do you want?
  • Reply 9 of 12
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,201member
    Angela is only one of Apple’s top execs who don’t have a public company email. If you have an issue or suggestion about the store, address it to tcook@apple.com. I did and got a nearly immediate response. Not from him, but from the manager of the store in question—a personal phone call nonetheless. Issue resolved to my satisfaction. Hope Tim at least cc’d Angela though. She needs to know what goes on. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 12
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,201member
    Have tried for years to get Apple to acknowledge/address the issue of excessive noise in stores. When stores are crowded (ones near me nearly always are) you practically have to shout to be heard. Attention needs to be paid to sound deadening materials—too many hard, reflective surfaces. Makes me want to get my business done and get out as soon as possible. Not good.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    ireland said:
    Hopefully next we see a five year plan for one store in Ireland. Cause all countries deserve at least one store.
    Keep ‘preaching it brother’. Maybe, if enough of us make enough of a noise, it’ll happen!

    Personally, I’d love to see three: Cork, Galway and Dublin (I don’t live within 80 kilometres of any of these cities, by the way)

    😎🇮🇪☘️ 
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Have tried for years to get Apple to acknowledge/address the issue of excessive noise in stores. When stores are crowded (ones near me nearly always are) you practically have to shout to be heard. Attention needs to be paid to sound deadening materials—too many hard, reflective surfaces. Makes me want to get my business done and get out as soon as possible. Not good.
    I suspect that the noise issue is the main reason for the addition of trees in the stores. I actually don't see the noise as much of an issue. Actually, I think the higher noise level makes it seem busier and more lively, and is actually a good thing overall. Although, for some it can certainly be an annoyance. FWIW, I love the new store design and concept, and I hope Apple continues to do even more to be a part of the surrounding community.
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