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Apple celebrated the grand opening of its newly designed Apple Store in Brussels today with much fanfare, ranging from CEO Tim Cook tweeting to long lineups and media forming around the entrance prior to the doors opening. The store is the first located in Belgium at Avenue de la Toison d'Or in a busy shopping area.

brussels_hero.jpg

The new Apple Store is the first to feature a next-generation Jony Ive-inspired design with large and virtually seamless curved glass panels on the facade, light boxes extending the length of the ceiling, indoor trees, touch-sensitive sequoia wood tables, new wooden shelves for Beats headphones and other accessories, and a massive digital screen at the back of the store for product marketing.

Apple blog One More Thing was on hand for the Apple Store grand opening in Brussels today and recorded some exciting footage as the doors opened. As with many other grand openings, the day started with a countdown among the hundreds of people lined up outside the store, at which point the doors opened and customers were cheered on by retail employees as they entered.


Apple recently shared a new video that highlights the work of several comic artists in Brussels, which is known for its tradition of comic art, to celebrate the grand opening. The store is open on Monday-Saturday between 10 AM and 7 PM local time and offers a Genius Bar, Workshops and other regular services.

(Thanks, Jan!)

Article Link: Apple's Beautiful New Store in Brussels Opens to Long Lines and Fanfare
 
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Caliber26

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Sep 25, 2009
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Is it just me or does Apple only seem to open up these flagship stores overseas? I know we have some in the states but nowhere near as many as we hear about in other countries. I live in Orlando and this is a huge market for Apple. Tourists from all over the world take time out of their theme park visits just to make a trip to stores like Apple and Best Buy and stock up on these devices. I wonder why we haven't gotten a store like this already. A place like Downtown Disney would be ideal for this.
 
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Tapdawg

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Feb 26, 2008
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Wow Tim was in Cupertino yesterday afternoon for the Apple Campus store opening and went all the way to Belgium overnight. Poor guy.

Side note - they gave away free shirts at the grand reopening of the Campus Store today.
 
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nickhutson

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Mar 15, 2009
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Is it just me or does Apple only seem to open up these flagship stores overseas? I know we have some in the states but nowhere near as many as we hear about in other countries. I live in Orlando and this is a huge market for Apple. Tourists from all over the world take time out of their theme park visits just to make a trip to stores like Apple and Best Buy and stock up on these devices. I wonder why we haven't gotten a store like this already. A place like Downtown Disney would be ideal for this.

Wait. Disney Springs is underway...
 
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Joe Rossignol

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May 12, 2012
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Wow Tim was in Cupertino yesterday afternoon for the Apple Campus store opening and went all the way to Belgium overnight. Poor guy.

Side note - they gave away free shirts at the grand reopening of the Campus Store today.
I believe I may have been mistaken about that. Not sure if he was there or not, so have updated the article accordingly.
 
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Caliber26

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Sep 25, 2009
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Wait. Disney Springs is underway...

Sorry, yes, I keep forgetting it's now called Disney Springs. There had been some rumors that we'd get a new flagship store in the reimagined Disney Springs but they're more than halfway done with all the new construction and haven't announced an Apple Store. I suppose anything is possible but I'm not holding my breath.
 
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uwdude

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Jul 16, 2014
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Is it just me or does Apple only seem to open up these flagship stores overseas? I know we have some in the states but nowhere near as many as we hear about in other countries. I live in Orlando and this is a huge market for Apple. Tourists from all over the world take time out of their theme park visits just to make a trip to stores like Apple and Best Buy and stock up on these devices. I wonder why we haven't gotten a store like this already. A place like Downtown Disney would be ideal for this.

I know, I live in Tampa and wondered why Orlando doesn't have a big multiple story store with a glass staircase or something. The Millenia mall one is nice, but not much bigger than the one we have in Tampa. The ceiling even seems high enough that they could have done 2 story. And Millenia has some super high end stores that aren't in most malls, seems like a logical place.
 
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Even Longer

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Dec 12, 2012
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This store is very beautiful indeed.

Like the design, but those should be apple trees, so that everybody sitting underneath could feel like Newton, being hit by such fruit eventually...

Benches below such tree should also be called "genius benches". ;)
 
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uwdude

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Jul 16, 2014
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I'm not sure Disney Springs would be right for a flagship Apple Store, as the flagship stores concentrate on having more space for training and things like that that tourists wouldn't really bother with, but I think a regular store would be great there. A lot of people forget to bring their chargers or have a problem with their device on vacation at Disney, and it would be great to just get on your Disney bus and head over there to take care of it.
 
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uwdude

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Jul 16, 2014
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One question about this Brussels store- why would the tables need to be touch sensitive? Not getting that.
 
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Mac Fly (film)

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Feb 12, 2006
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This store is very beautiful indeed.

Like the design, but those should be apple trees, so that everybody sitting underneath could feel like Newton, being hit by such fruit eventually... And such benches underneath the tree should be called "genius benches". ;)
You should be a stand-up comedian. A really bad one.
 
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Tech198

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Mar 21, 2011
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They must all eat maccas over there... :D

What an odd shape for a store... Not like one of the other stores. This looks more like an igloo-type store... but with decorations at the back.
 
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Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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Is it just me or does Apple only seem to open up these flagship stores overseas? I know we have some in the states but nowhere near as many as we hear about in other countries. I live in Orlando and this is a huge market for Apple. Tourists from all over the world take time out of their theme park visits just to make a trip to stores like Apple and Best Buy and stock up on these devices. I wonder why we haven't gotten a store like this already. A place like Downtown Disney would be ideal for this.
It sure seems like stores overseas are nicer. In my metro area all but one of the stores are in shopping malls and look pretty boring.
 
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Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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One question about this Brussels store- why would the tables need to be touch sensitive? Not getting that.
It's for the Genius Bar tables. Outlets are hidden and only appear when the table sensed someone needs to plug something in.
 
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SeanMcg

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Jun 1, 2004
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I'm not sure Disney Springs would be right for a flagship Apple Store, as the flagship stores concentrate on having more space for training and things like that that tourists wouldn't really bother with, but I think a regular store would be great there. A lot of people forget to bring their chargers or have a problem with their device on vacation at Disney, and it would be great to just get on your Disney bus and head over there to take care of it.

A Lake Buena Vista...er...Pleasure Island...er...Disney Marketplace...er...Downtown Disney...er...Disney Springs ;) store would be interesting. Disney already has several stores that sell themed accessories for electronics, especially custom-made cases. I'd be interested to see if an official Apple Store would work out something with Disney to give the same accessories more prominence in the store, or if they would simply do their own thing. They could go either way, but unlike some of the other shops down there, there is a bit of a history between the two companies.

As for whether or not a "flagship" store would be a good idea: I can understand the sentiment above, but Disney does not appear to be simply aiming for the on-property vacationers. This project is so massive it has to be aimed at locals as well.
 
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SeanMcg

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2004
333
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It sure seems like stores overseas are nicer. In my metro area all but one of the stores are in shopping malls and look pretty boring.
They are nicer because they are newer and have had the benefit of years of experience of all the other locations. Also, unlike the US, Apple may not have as many stores within a particular area and may want the store to stand out. I was at the opening of the very first Apple Store. It was different for a computer store, and stood out because of that. Now, that first store is looking boring, comparatively, but it WAS the first one. Remember, this was a venture some pundits thought was foolhardy, and Apple was nowhere near the powerhouse that it is today, and so played it safe.

Having said that, I think Apple is trying to refresh some of the older stores, but it remains to be seen how much of what they did in Brussels (or other new stores) makes it way back to older stores. I did notice that the Apple Watch display seems to be the exact same design as the one I saw here in my nearby store, but alas, no trees.
 
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Lycanthrope

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Nov 1, 2005
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Brussels, Belgium, Europe
I was there today with wife and kids, couldn't pass-up the opportunity to be there on the opening day of the first store in Belgium! We had to queue for an hour, 11:05 - 12:05 - but after that the queue diminished dramatically - probably because it was lunchtime.

Having never seen any Apple Watches, we wanted to take a look as my wife's interested to get one and we were impressed - much nicer that I imagined they would be; wifey wants the new rose Sport, I really liked the black Watch. Bizarrely, they didn't have any for sale, only display/demo; no stock and no launch date. Personally I find that really weird - they're not selling so well, why not make them available in more countries sooner?

Anyway, we enjoyed the experience and the staff were really friendly - which makes a really nice change from the norm in Belgium.

There was a tunnel of staff, cheering, singing and high-fiveing everyone going it - that was big fun, but very noisy and a bit tiring when you'd been in the store for a while.

They gave out a pack of post-cards by Belgian artists with "Apple Store Brussels" printed on the box - I guess that's a memento for the opening day.
 
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