Apple (AAPL) has confirmed on its official website that the company will open its first Apple Store in China in Sanlitun in Beijing on July 19, 2008.
The first Apple Store in China was originally planned to be on Qianmen Street, near the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, but the company finally decided to open the store in Sanlitun since Qianmen Street is being reconstructed. However, the company hopes to open its second store there and it has announced plans to open more stores around the opening time of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which begin on August 8.
The three-floor Sanlitun store will cover a construction area of 995 square meters and employ about 65 employees. Directly managed from Apple's headquarters in North America, the Sanlitun store is Apple's 219th direct-managed store in the world. The Apple Store will display all of the company's marketable products, except its popular iPhone products. In addition, the Sanlitun Apple Store will introduce the Apple "Genius Bar" to China. In the Genius Bar, technicians from Apple will answer customers' questions free of charge — regardless of warranty status. The shop will also offer other services, including "One to One" personal training and "Personal Shopping".
So far, Apple has opened direct-managed stores in the mainstream markets, including North America, Europe, Japan and Australia and the company is planning to expand its business in the emerging markets. In the 2008 fiscal year, Apple will open 45 new stores these emerging markets, including Australia, China and Switzerland.