Photo: Courtesy of Apple

Apple fans probably will not need to wait much longer for the first retail store in South-east Asia by the Cupertino tech giant.

The barricades in front of the upcoming Apple Store in Orchard Road’s Knightsbridge mall came down last Wednesday night.

In their place, on the building’s facade, are three icons – Apple, Heart and Red Dot – as well as the name of the store, Apple Orchard Road, below. There are 12 smaller groups of the icons close to the still-closed glass doors. Each group has a different red dot to represent the 12 local “Creative Pros” – photographers, artists, musicians and film-makers selected by Apple to conduct free hands-on lessons on topics such as photography and illustration at the store. They include photographers Aik Beng Chia, Ernest Goh and illustrator Kristal Melson.

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Photo: Courtesy of Apple

Mr Chia, who is known for street photos taken with his iPhone camera, said: “I’m pretty stoked to be able to share what I see and impart my knowledge using my iPhone camera to fellow Singaporeans.”

The sessions, called Today at Apple, will be launched progressively in all Apple retail stores across the world this month.

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Apple senior vice-president of retail Angela Ahrendts has said previously that Apple does not merely view its retail spaces as stores but as modern-day town squares where everyone is welcome.

The Straits Times understands that Apple Orchard Road will be opening soon, but no specific date has been given.

News of the store here first broke in October 2015, after a former tenant of the mall, the Pure Fitness gym chain, sent a letter to its members informing them of its closure to make room for the Apple store.

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Photo: Courtesy of Apple

In addition, four other tenants at the mall – clothing shops Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop/Topman and Brooks Brothers, as well as watch retailer Dickson Watch & Jewellery – were reported to be moving as well.

Apple Orchard Road will be run on 100 per cent clean energy using rooftop solar installations provided by Singapore-based solar energy provider Sunseap Group.

“I believe Apple Singapore’s local Creative Pros strategy is an excellent example of a company’s continued attempt to creatively reinforce its strong brand identity in a globally consistent but locally adaptive way,” said Associate Professor Leonard Lee from the National University of Singapore Business School.

The opening of Singapore’s first Apple Store is expected to take place later this year.

From: The Straits Times