One of Apple’s most important competitive advantages in both its mobile device and PC businesses is the strong retail presence provided by its Apple Store outlets. Apple Stores not only allow the company to maintain strong control over how its products are sold and supported, but they also let Apple control the physical spaces and locations used to present its products in the best possible light.
To date, Apple has nearly 500 Apple Stores around the world — in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region. Apple Stores come in all shapes and sizes — from extravagant examples of modern architecture to more mundane locations — and now it appears that the company will be opening a new flagship Apple Store with an unusual feature in Milan, Italy, as 9to5Mac reports.
The new Apple Store will be, as the company describes it in a local report in Milan, “one of the most innovative and technological Apple stores in the world.” That’s quite the description, given some of the more impressive Apple Stores, like the upcoming $50 million Melbourne, Australia location.
Most notably, the Milan Apple Store will feature an outdoor amphitheater that will be used for hosting cultural events, eight of which have already been promised by Apple, with four more events each year a possibility. According to Milan city planners, the Apple Store will be an “ambitious project,” which could be an understatement if designs so far are to be believed.
The location’s architecture sounds like it’s going to present quite the modern and relaxing environment. According to local media, the store will feature a glass screen made from a waterfall that will mark the entrance to the store, as well as a fully glazed structure.
Apple hasn’t provided a timetable for the Milan Apple Store’s grand opening. The designer of Apple’s Paris flagship and Campus 2 headquarters building, Foster and Partners, is behind the design.
And Apple isn’t slowing down with its continued expansion. New international stores are planned in South Korea, Paris, China, and India.