Singapore Apple store to be solar powered

The planned Singapore Apple store on Orchard Rd will be entirely solar powered.

As reported by Inside Retail Singapore last month, Apple is to open its first company-owned store on the island next year.

While Apple is not releasing any information about its plans officially, it did refer one enquiry to a company specialising in solar powering of buildings, which confirmed it has been commissioned to work on the Singapore Apple store. Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group is building a network of solar panels on the rooftops of 800 buildings which will produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 9000 homes. Apple will receive two thirds of the energy produced to power its new store, in one of a string of international initiatives by the tech company to make the most of solar power.

Further confirmation of the store’s imminence is recruitment advertising which has started to appear. Apple’s website lists 14 positions for its Singapore retail store, including store leaders, business managers and technical assistants.

News of Apple’s Singapore plans broke late last month when members of Pure Fitness, a gym located in the Knightsbridge Mall on Orchard Rd, were told the gym will close to make way for an Apple store.

The 15,000 sqm gym overlooks Orchard Rd and there are reports other tenants in the mall have been given notice so Apple can build a giant flagship.

While Apple has been well-served in the Singapore market by several authorised Apple resellers, its lack of an official Apple Store in the city has at times perplexed Apple devotees. Apple has recently opened its fourth store in Hong Kong, despite a large network of retailers selling its products in that city. It also has a large network in Australia and a rapidly expanding chain in Mainland China. A Macau store is under construction with staff recruitment underway and it recently teamed with Tata-owned Croma to open official stores in India.

When it enters a new market, Apple always first builds a high profile flagship store with expansive street frontage and unique architectural features. Locating such a site on Orchard Rd could well have proven a challenge to date. The design and central location of Knightsbridge Mall would lend itself to conversion.

Subsequent stores, if it opens more, would be smaller and more suited to internal shopping centre sites.

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