Skip to main content

Angela Ahrendts calls Thailand’s first Apple store ‘the fullest expression of everything that Apple’s doing’

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.

Online, Apple Iconsiam has been promoted with a special Apple Music playlist, themed wallpapers, and a “New Beginnings” App Store story, lending credence to the community theme.

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.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Michael Steeber Michael Steeber

Michael is a Creative Editor who covered Apple Retail and design on 9to5Mac. His stories highlighted the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Contact Michael on Twitter to share Apple Retail, design, and history stories: @MichaelSteeber