The Apple outlet in Pudong, Shanghai is getting mythical proportions and babtized by retail analyst Paul French the ‘Temple of Apple’. In Mercury News he explains why Apple changed from a laggard into a winner in the booming China market, unlike other US brands.
While Apple currently captures only a sliver of China’s consumers, the country’s 300 million-member middle class includes many upwardly mobile consumers with money to burn.
“Apple’s moment is here,” said retail analyst Paul French of the Shanghai-based firm Access Asia. “There is now enough of an urban middle class with enough money to afford Apple products. Five years ago — or even two or three years ago — there weren’t enough of those people.”…Paul French by Fantake via Flickr
While many Chinese buy cheap knockoffs of Apple products, plenty of others are more than willing to pay top price for originals — and the reliability and status that comes with them.
At the Pudong outlet — a spacious store awash in natural light that French calls “the Temple of Apple” — product adoration crossed a number of age groups one recent afternoon, from teens sipping milk tea to professionals getting assistance on Macintosh software. Young couples cuddled over iPads as music, from hip-hop beats to the Beatles, filled the air.
“They’ve got great products and they are doing this at a time when Chinese consumers are feeling bullish and have some money,” French said.