Ahead of the grand opening of Apple’s first retail location in Thailand this Saturday, November 10th, a new interview has shed more light on Apple’s thinking and goals for the project. Following last week’s special event at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Thai YouTuber Ceemeagain Chatpawee sat down with retail SVP Angela Ahrendts in Williamsburg to learn more about Apple Iconsiam.
Overlooking the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Apple’s space in the new Iconsiam mall was carefully selected. The location makes a statement — both visually and strategically — about the future of Apple retail. Ahrendts noted:
I hope that every Apple fan comes to Apple Iconsiam because it will be the fullest expression of everything that Apple’s doing. It’ll be the only place in Thailand that you can come to a Today at Apple session.
Designed by architects Foster + Partners in collaboration with Jony Ive, the physical building represents a significant investment in Thailand. But while Apple is proud of its retail architecture, the conversation has increasingly turned toward Today at Apple:
This is not a store. This is a magnificent place that I think [people] will just love to come and hang out at and enjoy the gardens out front. Come and just hang out at Today at Apple and watch the big screen and everything that’s happening around you.
It’ll be the first Genius Grove with big trees where you can just sit as you’re waiting for service and support to get something fixed. I think there’s a lot of firsts that they have to come and see.
A special collection of Today at Apple sessions bearing the same name will run in the days following the grand opening, with exclusive events including a Music Lab and a live performance.
Ahrendts also attempted to dispel fears that Apple’s retail expansion in Thailand will harm existing third-party resellers and service providers. Apple’s existing relationship with its partners was stressed:
We don’t want to do anything to compete with the partners or the service partners. So we come in at a whole different level, hopefully far away from them so it doesn’t impact them. But we offer a wider selection if customers are curious. We offer Today at Apple sessions so that people can learn more about their products. And as they learn more, they will stay more loyal with iStudio and with all of the partners. And then we also offer another level of service and support.
More details are discussed in the full interview video above (portions are in Thai.) If you attend a store opening, we’d love to share your photos. Follow along with 9to5Mac’s retail guide for more Apple store news.