stairs.jpg
Is retail dying? Not if you ask Apple, which is reimagining not just digital software and tech devices,  but the way we shop for them. The tech giant's first official Singapore store opens this Saturday on May 27, and luckily for shoppers here, the opening coincides with the worldwide launch of its Today At Apple programme. 

Under this initiative, creatives will helm classes and experiences at Apple Stores, teaching everything  from photography to coding. Essentially, Angela Ahrendts, Apple's Senior Vice-President of Retail – and former CEO of Burberry – wants consumers to think of the Apple Store as the brand's biggest piece of hardware, and the experience you get there as the software. In Singapore-speak, you might say the store is trying to be a chic community centre. 

(Related: Apple's Orchard Road Store To Open On May 27)

Ashley Middleton, head of programming for Today At Apple, told Singapore Tatler at the media preview that the 12 "Red Dot Heroes" who have been selected to helm sessions at Apple Orchard Road were chosen  to showcase a breadth of different types of talent, and more local creatives will be tapped by the brand in the future. "We want to highlight the best of what Singapore has to offer."

The Today At Apple sessions are designed to attract  people from diverse age groups, with different interests. "We want to focus on different programmes, at different levels, which will happen all day long, every day," says Ashley. "And they are free. These are not just for the tech-savvy crowd, we welcome everybody.  For example, if you are interested in photography but you've never taken a photo with your phone, we can teach you how to use your iPhone to do that, and level up from there by teaching more artistic techniques and how to use more advanced editing software."  

Apple expects the Orchard Road store to be one of its most popular stores in the world, and the staff is all geared up for the crowds this weekend and beyond. Of the 237 employees opening this store, more than 25 per cent were existing Apple employees who transitioned from call centers or other parts of the business, which means it's the most seasoned team that has ever opened an Apple store in a new country. 

 Full Transparency 

storefront.jpgThe glass facade creates a sense of transparency that is meant to blur the lines between the inside and the outside, and remove any obstacles between Apple and the local community. 

Full Transparency

2ndflr.jpgThe glass facade is 36m long, and a 7.62m external canopy provides shelter from rain and also deflects some sunlight. 

Going Green in the Garden City 

trees.jpgThe ficus trees inside the store create grove-like spaces that are meant to add to the feel of a community-centric town square. The touch of nature also complements the textures of wood, stone and leather in the store design. 

Out of the Boxes 

seats.jpgThe heart of the store is the forum on the second floor, where the Today At Apple sessions will be held. The modular seating allows for more flexible configurations of the space. 

 Stairway to Tech Heaven

stairs.jpgTwo sculptural stairways flank the store interiors. Made of Castagna stone and inspired by Apple's new campus in Cupertino, California, they feature integrated handrails (complete with Braille). 

 Stairway to Tech Heaven

handrail.jpgTwo sculptural stairways flank the store interiors. Made of Castagna stone and inspired by Apple's new campus in Cupertino, California, they feature integrated handrails (complete with Braille). 

 Stairway to Tech Heaven

braille.jpgTwo sculptural stairways flank the store interiors. Made of Castagna stone and inspired by Apple's new campus in Cupertino, California, they feature integrated handrails (complete with Braille). 

Warm Wood Tones 

diaplay.jpg

The wooden display cases on the first floor are known as "avenues".  It's probably safe to assume that future Apple product launches in Singapore will make full use of this lovely two-storey light-flooded store, but as one executive there told us with a chuckle: "We don't talk about anything in the future, except that this store opens on Saturday at 10am." 

 Warm Wood Tones

watchstrap.jpg

The wooden display cases on the first floor are known as "avenues".  It's probably safe to assume that future Apple product launches in Singapore will make full use of this lovely two-storey light-flooded store, but as one executive there told us with a chuckle: "We don't talk about anything in the future, except that this store opens on Saturday at 10am." 

 Warm Wood Tones 

headphones.jpgThe wooden display cases on the first floor are known as "avenues".  It's probably safe to assume that future Apple product launches in Singapore will make full use of this lovely two-storey light-flooded store, but as one executive there told us with a chuckle: "We don't talk about anything in the future, except that this store opens on Saturday at 10am." 

 

 

Tags: technology, apple watch, Red Dot Heroes, Today at Apple, Apple Orchard Road, Apple Store Singapore, Angela Ahrendts