Skip to main content

Video: Apple opens redesigned Brussels Apple Store, featuring indoor trees and new touch-sensitive tables


In Belgium, Apple has opened its first ‘next-gen’ redesigned Apple Store in Brussels. The store features huge glass panes that curve around the exterior. The store has also reduced its reliance on backlit screen panels. Instead, Apple is relying on a single huge screen that covers one wall which will serve many purposes, including retail training and product marketing.

Inside, Apple has installed two rows of plant pots with real trees growing inside the store. Even more incredibly, the product tables (made of fine redwood) are actually motion sensitive with power outlets revolving into view when it detects people are nearby. Reader Franklin Schrans has sent in a video showing the cool moving tables in action …

The store opened this morning to big crowds, with some queueing overnight to be first into Apple’s brand new stores (see the below video). This is the first of many retail stores to be revamped with Jony Ive leading the next-generation design.

In the US, the first of these redesigns will be seen in Germantown, Memphis. Apple got approval for its new store in the country last month and revealed it would be the first in the US to feature its new Apple Store appearance.

Tim Cook is also in Brussels today, celebrating the opening of the redesigned store:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. martinouchou - 8 years ago

    At last Brussels is getting an Apple Store !

  2. Stetson - 8 years ago

    “Inside, Apple has installed two rows of pot plants with real trees growing inside the store.”

    Maybe “potted plants” or “planters” or “plant pots” would work a bit better there?

    • Benjamin Mayo - 8 years ago

      Yeah, it’s supposed to be plant pots. Came out in the wrong order :P Fixed.

    • sardonick - 8 years ago

      Judging from the moronic robots that work at the Apple core near me, “pot” plants is probably accurate. A dirtier collection of hippies I have not seen outside of California.

  3. applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

    I was there and it was AWESOME. Huge crowd and atmosphere. Too bad I couldn’t get in, the line was huge and I just wasn’t gonna wait hours in a line… I’ll just return on monday. I live there anyways.

  4. srgmac - 8 years ago


  5. borntofeel - 8 years ago

    I just discovered that personal in Apple Stores is much better in Europe than in the US. Just arrived in New York for the first time and personnel in the store are talking among themselves while ignoring me who am right in front of them. Lame.

    • macmann1980 - 8 years ago

      Err…if you needed help, why didn’t you just approach them yourself?

      • I take it you aren’t familiar with good customer service then.

      • arwynnfcffxiv - 8 years ago

        If you have never been to the Apple Store in NYC before I can see how this would look bad. I was there a few weeks ago and there were a ton of people in there at all times just messing about. People use it for free internet like its the library so I can understand why their sales people have gotten that way.

  6. Greg Simmons - 8 years ago

    The song sounds awfully similar to Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.

    • vandy75 - 8 years ago

      You cannot be serious. As a business owner, there is NO EXCUSE for employees standing around when there are customers in need of assistance. The employees are getting paid for their time. It is NOT the customer’s responsibility to engage a salesperson.

      • Mahesh Kirpalani - 8 years ago

        Although I agree with you, there is still a cultural difference there needs to be taken into account. American customers tend to be very proactive in their shopping activities and therefore often approach sales associates faster than a sales associate approach them. Europeans in my experience, don’t want to be bothered immediately but ultimately do expect a sales person to approach them after being in a store for a few minutes. Europeans tend to want to orientate themselves before engaging in one to one with sales people.
        However, I do agree that sales associates need to make sure their aware of a customer and need to be approachable to them.

        If sales people are as described above, they do deserve to be canned!

      • cjt3007 - 8 years ago

        And this has… what to do with the comment you replied to?

  7. applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

    It’s weird. They have the Apple Watch at the Brussels Apple Store to show ’em off but they don’t sell them yet. Strange.

    • cjt3007 - 8 years ago

      They had the available for try-on in the US before launch…

    • vandy75 - 8 years ago

      The difference between a clerk and a sales professional is instinct. You can make yourself “present” without being intrusive. When I was a junior in college, I got a job selling in NEIMAN Marcus. From the first day I hit the floor to my last day I was the top seller. While some of my colleagues were often standing around sucking up the rarified air of NEIMAN Marcus only perking up when someone in their clientele book showed up, I was taking people all over the store selling. Nobody needs less assistance in a store than I do however I always note whether the salespeople are taking notice. The top seller in the adjacent department was very engaging and attentive. If chatting up your coworker is more important than selling, you need another profession. No customer I know cares about hearing a conversation about what the clerk is doing after work.

  8. Rather than add a gimmick like tables with electrical outlets which open & close and really add no value, I would rather have seen them utilize sound-absorbing materials in the ceilings instead of hard sound-reflecting surfaces, to help control the noise levels.

    In all of the 3 Apple stores I’ve visited, during busy periods the sound is painfully loud and you have to raise your voices to converse with the staff or each other. I remember sitting at the Genius Bar, shouting at each other while trying to explain my issue. I’ve taken to wearing earplugs when I visit the stores.

  9. vandy75 - 8 years ago

    The store design is incredible. If Angela Ahrendts thinks this kind of energy is just too plebian for her tastes, then she is as mistaken about that as Carly Fiorina is in recounting her tenure at Hewlett Packard.

  10. applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

    They already broke the left glass door of the store. :/ under 12 hours after it opened…

    • davidgoscinny - 7 years ago

      Yeah you can find some pics and videos about on Twitter. I think that security guard has been reloacted already 😂

  11. kingsleyzissou04 - 8 years ago

    Touch sensitive tables! Cool? Yes! New? Hardly. The Apple Store Eastwood Towne Center in Michigan has had those touch sensitive tables since they opened in August of 2014.

  12. Jake Becker - 8 years ago

    “It’s the most advanced store we’ve ever made…and it’s the thinnest store we’ve ever made…”

  13. macnificentseven48 - 8 years ago

    It’s almost asking for some criminals to drive a car right through the glass a then grab all the products they can get their hands on and drive off. Apple should place some heavy-duty bollards around the store to prevent that sort of nonsense.

  14. sardonick - 8 years ago

    I can see the meetings now. Hey, remember that whole simple and clean thing, well, fuck it.

    • vandy75 - 8 years ago

      Go really James Bond and make them retractable. Make those babies rise once they drive through and trap em. Hmm they might have guns huh?


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.