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Belgium Apple Store preview offers first look at the future of Ive-designed retail shops


With Jony Ive having taken responsibility for all aspects of design throughout Apple, including its retail stores, we’re now getting our first look at the future look of Apple Stores in the form of a press preview of the brand new store in Brussels, Belgium. Local site ANV was there to bring us a great set of photos.

The exterior is dramatic, with huge, floor-to-ceiling glass panels that curve around the store’s facade. The interior is most notable for including trees with surrounding benches, and ANV reports that this is the seating area for customers awaiting Genius Bar appointments. From an old Mercury News report on a planned new Palo Alto store, both of these touches appear set to be standard features in future stores … 

Apple has cut back on the number of backlit photo panels throughout the Brussels store, relying more on a single massive screen that will be used for training sessions as well as marketing.


This allows natural materials like granite and wood to have greater prominence.


Some of the individual features have been seen in other stores, but what we’re seeing here is the complete integrated look Apple apparently intends to roll out to all new stores, and will presumably also make it way to existing ones in refits over time. An example is this drawer system for cases, which debuted alongside Apple-directed packaging for third-party accessories.


Other changes already seen in existing stores include the replacement of iPad Smart Signs with apps running on the demo devices, and the demotion of the iPod to the accessory section.

ANV has many more photos over on its site – take a look, then take part in our poll and let us know in the comments what you think.

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  1. Alex Moran - 8 years ago

    How the fuck are we expected to view the photos if you’ll insist on using this shitty setup on your website.
    Such great content but such a badly designed website

    • Unfortunately true. I click an image and it takes me to another page with smaller version of the image. I don’t want to click each of them and choose open image in new tab. This is usually solved by image viewer when you click an image and it opens up in the same tab (just like it was before on 9to5mac as well).

  2. applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

    Been waiting for Apple’s first official store in my country for YEARS! The opening Saturday morning will be epic.

  3. Rutger (@MrLightBulp) - 8 years ago

    One other remark, (I’m from Belgium) the walls used in the new apple store will be the same as the walls used in the new apple campus. As the head of apple retail store explained in front of the press opening today.

    Saturday will be the frist public opening of the first apple store in Belgium.

  4. applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Tim Cook were to crawl out of some of those trees during the public opening this Saturday…

  5. Marcus Prince - 8 years ago

    Very limited photo’s available in this article! Of course a video would be optimal, but without that optional large photos at many angles is the best approach!

  6. acslater017 - 8 years ago

    What a beautiful space. It’s much less sterile than the late 2000s aluminum look, but still classic Apple. Love the curved glass, wood, trees, wall material. Almost a utopian view of the future or something.

  7. Bria (@_xxfoxtail) - 8 years ago

    I think it looks neat. But, I have a feeling those trees will just be in the way when it gets busy.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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