Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts on hand for Singapore store opening

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As scheduled, Apple officially opened the doors to its first retail outlet in Singapore on Saturday local time, and SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts was there to take in the festivities.

As seen above, Local radio DJs Justin Ang and Vernon A of "Muttons in the Morning" snapped a photo with Ahrendts at the Knightsbridge mall grand opening celebration. The radio hosts "spent some time" with Apple's head of retail, according to a post on Twitter, suggesting Ahrendts sat down for a short interview ahead of the store opening.

Separately, Ahrendts in a tweet on Friday sent a message of support to Apple employees working in Singapore. A photo accompanying the tweet shows Ahrendts standing among retail workers at the new Apple Orchard Road location.

"Huge thanks to the 2,800 Apple employees in Singapore! We have a long history here & are thrilled to open #AppleOrchardRoad tomorrow," Ahrendts said.

Though official numbers have yet to be released, it seems the grand opening drew quite the crowd. A number of customers and passersby posted pictures of a long line of people waiting to get inside Apple's first brick-and-mortar presence in the region.

Apple offered a sneak peek into the Orchard Road flagship when it removed protective construction barriers from the store's two-story glass facade earlier this week. Media outlets were invited inside on Thursday.

Like other recent flagship outlets, the Knightsbridge mall location boasts high-flung lighted ceilings, familiar wooden display tables, tree planters and a large, centrally-located television screen. While large glass panels front the store, polished stone is the motif inside. A large half-spiral staircase includes special touches like a handrail carved directly into the stone wall, a design cue borrowed from Apple Park in Cupertino.

The store also features an accessories "avenue," or custom-built wood furniture displays, a "Genius Grove" and seating for "Today at Apple" sessions. Announced last month, Today at Apple is a new initiative consisting of more than 60 different sessions designed to inform and entertain Apple store customers. Ahrendts said the initiative's goal is to make Apple a communal gathering place, much like Starbucks.

On tap for Saturday's grand opening celebration is a live art session by local artist BINKO, photo walks, a photo lab with Ernest Goh and a live performance by pop star Sezairi.


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