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Apple chooses unexpected location for massive new Hong Kong retail store

Apple's latest retail outpost in Hong Kong —  thought to be the company's largest in Asia — went public this week with the unveiling of a huge, three-dimensional Apple logo in a somewhat unexpected place.

The new store rises three stories high at the northern end of Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of Hong Kong's busiest neighborhoods and a major shopping area for tourists from mainland China. While the choice to add a TST outlet isn't surprising —  it's been rumored for years —  the final location did take us aback.

Apple chose a spot that is just about as out of the way as one can be in the crowded neighborhood, a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway exit and even further from the famous Star Ferry that carries passengers over Victoria Harbor. And though the store is situated across from the the Harbour City megamall, it stands alone, an unusual configuration for Apple's operations in Asia.

Another twist for this new outlet is the addition of what seems to be a three-dimensional Apple logo to the construction cladding. Rather than painting a large mural, as the company did for its store in the mainland city of Hangzhou, Apple went in a more substantial promotional direction.

The TST location will be Apple's fourth Hong Kong store, joining the flagship IFC outlet in Central, the three-story Hysan Place location in Causeway Bay, and a smaller in-mall shop in Kowloon Tong's Festival Walk. Apple is rumored to be preparing the IFC store, famous for stretching across a roadway, for an expansion that would add a third floor of retail space.

Hong Kong is an important market for Apple as it sits at the doorstep of mainland China and attracts tens of millions of mainland shoppers each year. Many take the opportunity to buy luxury goods and electronics at much cheaper prices than they could in the mainland, which imposes high sales, import, and consumption taxes on such purchases.