Singapore's Apple Store to open in May after construction delays: Report

The construction site at Apple's new store in Orchard Road's Knightsbridge mall on July 28, 2016.
The construction site at Apple's new store in Orchard Road's Knightsbridge mall on July 28, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - After several false dawns, Apple's first retail store in South-east Asia could be set for a May opening.

The store at Knightsbridge mall in Orchard Road, which reportedly spans five storefronts and will occupy four storeys, has been cloaked in Apple's usual veil of secrecy.

According to an April 28 report in CNBC, however, there is finally hope for Apple fans.

The report, citing sources, said the project had been plagued by construction-related problems, including a conflict with a neighbouring hotel - the Grand Park Orchard - over "logistical and infrastructure issues".

A hotel spokesman told CNBC she could not comment on the matter.

There was also a stop work order issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to a contractor, interior fit-out specialist Legend Interiors, at the store's worksite (270 Orchard Road) on Oct 24 last year.

 
 

The order was lifted on Nov 16, with MOM saying in a statement to CNBC that it was issued "for unsafe conditions relating to work at height, traffic management, scaffolding, electrical installation and lifting operations that were observed during an inspection at the worksite".

When approached for comment, Apple's head of corporate communications for South-east Asia and India Katrina Tran told CNBC that there were no delays or friction with the project, and that it was "proceeding as planned".

She also noted that Apple had never given a date for the store's opening.

CNBC visited the site last Thursday (April 27) and spoke to a worker there, who claimed that the store would open on May 22.

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

Construction work began in May the following year (2016), with an information board displayed outside first showing an expected completion date of Oct 31.

The date was subsequently changed to Jan 30 this year before it was removed completely.