|(Top) Customers at the new AV Electronics outlet in Kuala Belait which was opened on August 8. (Above) A customer trying out a Mac on display at the new outlet. Pictures: BT/Al-Haadi Abu Bakar|
The new store opened its doors Monday August 8 at the ground floor of the Riviera Hotel, in the heart of Kuala Belait.
Hj Yusoff Soffian Hj Md Freddie, marketing manager of AV Electronics, said that the Apple Premium Reseller in Brunei was pleased to have made its presence in the district.
"As a company, we want to always try and serve our customers better. We feel there's always room for us to grow, we are forever improving, and we think opening a branch in Belait district is a logical next step for us," he told The Brunei Times.
"We're excited to see the Apple brand has gotten more recognised in Brunei over the past few years, not just for iOS devices such as the iPhones, iPods and iPads, but the Macs have also gotten more exposure because of the iOS devices. In fact, people are looking at our brand new Macbook Air laptops, which are pretty big sellers right now," he added.
The new store has a similar look and feel as its flagship store in Kiulap, with a complete line of Apple products on display ranging from desktop and laptop Macs, to iOS devices such as iPods and iPads as well as an array of accessories.
"As the sole authorised Apple premium reseller in Brunei, we carry the same Apple Store look wherever you go, so all our stores have a standardised Apple premium reseller look and feel to it," he said.
He said AV Electronics' second outlet at The Mall, which opened its doors in 2008, was the first to adopt the "Apple Store" architecture and concept used by all Apple retail and reseller stores worldwide. Its flagship outlet in Kiulap received a similar facelift a year and a half later.
"If you look at our new branch in KB, it looks like a replica of our Kiulap store, except its a third of the size," he added.
He said plans to open up an outlet in the district had been in the works as early as last year, as the store has a decent number of customers coming from Belait. "For years, we've been arranging for Friday deliveries for those customers living in the district who have purchased our products. It was okay in terms of product delivery, but eventually we've had concerns on how to serve those customers better in terms of maintenance and warranty," he said.
Besides being a retail store for premium Apple products, the KB branch also acts as a service depot for customers living in Belait District. "So when any customers from KB or Seria has issues with their machines, they can bring their units over to our KB branch where we can run simple checks on it and if necessary, customers can leave their units with us there and we will deliver them over here in Kiulap for servicing," he added.
"We did get a lot of feedback from our customers there, and we're happy that the reception has been decent so far," he added. AV Electronics also hopes, he said, that the opening of a new branch in Belait would enable the company a good amount of reach, especially for customers during product launches.
"When we launched the iPad 2 earlier this year, we only had two stores at that time, both here in Brunei-Muara district. So our customers from Belait who wanted to buy an iPad during launch day had to drive all the way down to our stores early in the morning so as to not miss the queue," he said.
In April, hundreds of customers thronged the two stores to grab their hands on the new iPad 2, with a record of more than 200 units reportedly sold on launch day. The iPad launch was a coordinated Asian launch for Apple, with Malaysia, Singapore and other Asian countries releasing the iPad on the same day, which resulted to limited supply.
"So we're hoping that with this new branch in Belait we will be able to cater to our customers there better, where they can visit our store, look around and try out our products and purchase our accessories as well," he added.
The Brunei Times