Apple will be expanding the reach of its retail stores in China over the next month, just in time for Lunar New Year. Angela Ahrendts, the company’s retail chief, told the state-owned Xinhua news agency that five new Apple Stores will be opening in the Middle Kingdom by February 19.
“We are opening five new stores before the Chinese New Year this year. Four of the stores are in brand new cities for us,” Ahrendts said.
Getting the stores open by Lunar New Year is important for Apple, since it’s the biggest shopping season in China. Apple products have proven incredibly popular in China, and the added presence of theses stores could help boost the company’s sales as people head out shopping.
The first of those five stores opened this week in Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan Province. Apple’s next outpost will open in Hangzhou, which is also home to the headquarters of online retail titan Alibaba. The new retail outlets are a part of a massive Chinese retail expansion for Apple. CEO Tim Cook told Sina last year that the company plans to open 25 new stores there by 2016. After the current push, Apple will have 20 retail outlets around the country.