This will quickly become the most famous Apple Store in China: BirdAbroad – a blogger in Kunming – posted photos along with the story of a local store which actually looked just like one Apple’s iconic retail stores.
It featured the standard design elements: glass exterior, winding staircase inside, pale wood display tables and of course giant posters displaying the iPad 2 and other Apple products, plus a neatly organized accessories wall.
A short quote:
I know, you guys are laughing: an Apple store in Kunming? No one who doesn’t know me personally has ever heard of Kunming before. Kunming is the end of the Earth. It’s all true – but seriously, China warps your mind into believing that anything is possible, if you stay here long enough. When we went back to this store 5 days later and couldn’t find it, having overshot by two blocks, I seriously thought that it had simply been torn down and replaced with a bank in the mean time – hey, it’s China. That could happen.
You have already guessed the punchline, of course: this was a total Apple store ripoff. A beautiful ripoff – a brilliant one – the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day). But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly.
Apple never writes “Apple Store” on it’s signs – it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit.
What do you think – will we see more store concepts copied in the Asian world?