Country’s first Apple Store coming to Seoul

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Country’s first Apple Store coming to Seoul

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China’s 37th Apple Store in Jinan, Shandong Province, which opened on May 21. [APPLE]

Apple is set to launch its first retail store in Korea, with the location likely to be the popular shopping street of Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul, real estate documents show.

A certified copy of the real estate registration submitted to the Gangnam District Office reveals Apple Korea signed a 20-year contract starting from March this year for a 526-square-meter (5,660-square-foot) space on the quarter-mile tourist destination of Garosu-gil.

Sources say the landlord obtained approval to build a single, five-story building on the land but recently submitted a request to the district office to change the design to one that would accommodate an Apple retail space.

The Apple Store is likely to take up all or part of the building. The site is currently behind scaffolding with a notice of construction under way.

Apple Korea would not confirm whether it was opening a new store.

Speculation surrounding Korea’s first Apple Store emerged after the Korean operation of the American tech giant posted a recruitment notice on its job website on Aug. 1 for an AppleCare Area Manager for Korea. The manager will “lead a team of AppleCare’s At Home Advisors who are responsible for providing world class support to our customers in Korea,” the notice said.

Customers in Korea have long complained about the subpar service offered by Apple, even though the iPhone was introduced here seven years ago. In-person service is currently provided by authorized resellers rather than by Apple itself.

Korea, the home turf of Samsung Electronics, has also consistently been one of the last countries in Asia to receive new Apple products when they are released. The chances of Korea becoming part of the first batch of countries to receive new products would increase with an Apple Store.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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