Apple Orchard Road: Grand Opening!

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It’s 27th May 2017 and the clock strikes at 10 am. Apple employees open the doors of the Retail Store to the world. But before 10, the crowd is being hyped up with cheers and applauses. The energy by the Apple employees is just so amazing.

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* This post contains large media content.

Before Grand Opening

At 0438hrs, personnel was seen setting up the barricades for the queue later in the morning.

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Later in the day when the queue starts to form: 

Apple employees were seen on the 2nd floor to cheer everyone and getting the hyped up! It was about less than an hour before the opening.

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During the countdown, the excitement builds up really quick and finally, we were brought into Retail Store!

Grand Opening!

When entering, Apple employees did their trademark of greeting everyone with a high-five! The cheer never did seem to end! Apple’s SVP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, was there too, welcoming everyone to Apple Orchard Road!

For the Grand Opening, we were given T-shirts and stickers which are while stocks last!

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Apple’s Sales Floor

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Apple Products Hands-on Area

The Forum: Today at Apple

Instead of seeing the Apple products, most of us quickly headed up to the 2nd floor to view the new space for Today at Apple, featuring a huge display and stools provided.

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Hello Curved Marble Stairs, Goodbye Glass Stairs

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The Curved Marble Staircase, from Italy, forgoing the previous glass stairs.

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The stairs’ handles were carved out in between the stairs and the walls.

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As part of Apple’s commitment to Accessibility, Braille is included on the side of the stairs.

Product Stations

Accessories Stations

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You can self-help with the Apple Watch bands by changing the bands yourself or with the help of an Apple employee from your existing ones.  This is a much better concept of trying on to see if the colour of the band would match with your Apple Watch.

You can also try on the other accessories as well, such as the iPhone cases and able to see the individual colours and try them on your iPhone. A major change from the existing Premium Resellers.

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An Apple employee is showcasing the Hover Camera Passport Drone (Retailing for S$779) and how it is being operated and telling people more about the product.

Decided on the Items? Let’s Check Out.

Where is the cashier? Each of the sales employees is also a cashier themselves. Each employee holds on to a custom iPhone that has a payment machine attached. After deciding on the product to get, they will scan the barcode, and you can use Apple Pay or any contactless payments by just tapping on the machine. The receipt can either be printed out or emailed to you. I would prefer to receive an email, all part of saving the environment and not needing to be afraid of the receipt being missing.

What’s more is that if you do not like the product, you can always return within 14 days. Similar with other Apple Retail Stores around the world, which premium resellers does not offer.

What if all employees are busy and I am rushing for time? Fret not. You can always use self-checkout on your iPhone. By simply download the Apple Store app. In the app, you should be able to see the name of the Retail Store at the top of the app, which you are in. Tap on it and you will be brought to the screen for scanning.  

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To start scanning for the item, tap on “Touch to Scan”.

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Start scanning your item. You will have to enter your Apple ID and confirming the purchase. Upon trying to use the app, there is no option to choose Apple Pay as part of the payment. It uses the credit card that you have that is tied to your Apple ID for purchases and subscriptions. After entering the password and that’s it. It’s complete, but do wait for the receipt of a confirmation that you have successfully purchased the item. The last step, just walk out of the Retail Store. 

Conclusion

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Apple Orchard Road is one of Apple’s latest Stores bearing the new redesign that is taking place around the world for Today at Apple. Started off with Apple Union Square in San Francisco, the redesign has spread across most Retail Stores. This is a new chapter for the Apple community in Singapore.

There were plenty of reports of how Premium Resellers and Authorised Service Centers customer service were not par with the original Apple experience that some have experienced at overseas.

Putting that aside, Apple Orchard Road has been a success and the long wait since October 2015 is all but worth it, for the present and the future Apple products.

Do let us know how you feel of the opening of the Apple Retail Store that has finally opened. Did you go down to queue for the Grand Opening? If you did, what items did you purchase?

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