Apple Inc. is taking steps to invigorate and broaden its retail network, pushing further into the China market and beyond, while simultaneously refreshing existing sites in the US and Europe. According to informed sources, this expansive retail strategy includes the opening of 53 new, relocated, or renovated stores within the next four years. The aim is to strengthen Apple’s brand in burgeoning markets like India while also offering customers in the US and Europe a superior shopping experience.
The most prominent new stores currently under discussion or in development include three outlets in India, the company’s debut store in Malaysia, and an upgrade to Apple’s iconic location in Paris’s Opera shopping district. Other key developments are a new store at the Battersea Power Station in London, near its new local headquarters, an additional Miami outlet, and a flagship store planned for Shanghai’s Jing’an Temple Plaza.
Despite some proposed locations and timelines remaining internal projections, many stores are already under development, with leases agreed upon with landowners. Apple has a current count of more than 520 stores in 26 countries, with nearly half of these in the US.
The proposed expansion places significant emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, with 21 new or refurbished sites planned through 2027. The region brought in about $130 billion of Apple’s revenue in 2022—roughly a third of its total—and countries like India have proven critical growth engines.
The Asia-Pacific focus remains unwavering despite current tensions between the US and China. Apple’s dependence on China as a manufacturing partner and a significant market for its products remains substantial. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, called the relationship “symbiotic” during his visit to China earlier this year, and the planned retail growth further underscores Apple’s commitment to the country.
Europe will also see an increase in Apple’s retail presence, starting with a London store at the Battersea location, expected to open as early as this month. The UK is Apple’s third-biggest retail market, home to about 40 stores, and brought in over $95 billion for Apple last year, accounting for approximately a fourth of its total sales.
The majority of the locations being relocated or renovated are older or outdated stores. In some cases, they are smaller than most contemporary locations or lack features like a product pickup area or seating for classes.
Alongside the global expansion, Deirdre O’Brien, the executive overseeing Apple’s retail operations, is focusing on enhancing the in-store experience for Apple customers. This push for improvement follows several years of accumulated customer complaints and a waning aura that once surrounded Apple’s sleek stores. Furthermore, Apple has been grappling with labor-related issues, including a unionization push in the US and abroad.
Apple’s retail plans for North America are mainly concentrated on upgrading existing operations rather than spreading to new cities. The initial step is a revamp of the Tice’s Corner store in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, slated for next month. Future plans include potential new sites in Torrance, California, and Miami, Florida, and a relocated store in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Apple’s plans for its global retail network expansion suggest a strategy of simultaneous consolidation and growth. By building upon its existing base while expanding into new markets, Apple is aiming to position itself firmly in the retail landscapes of the future.