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Open UK Apple Stores now, demand 66% of users

Overwhelming support for retail chain

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Two-thirds of UK Mac users want Apple to open High Street stores in this country immediately.

That's the result of a poll conducted by Macworld UK. The survey was conducted through the magazine's Web site, so it may not be the most scientific piece of market research. However, over the survey had over 1000 respondents. And with 66 per cent demanding an immediate launch and a further 22 per cent keen on the idea, but would like to see how the US experiment goes first, the poll still sends a clear message to Apple HQ.

UK Mac owners want Apple stores.

Two Apple stores opened just over a week ago in Glendale, California (near Los Angeles) and McLean, Virginia (near Washington, DC), the first of 25 that the company plans to roll-out during the year.

The stores' first day attracted an estimated 7,700 visitors who bought nearly $600,000 worth of Macs, peripherals and software.

The UK is certainly ripe for a similar move. Apple's attempts to enliven the retail channel have largely misfired. Despite a few notable exceptions - London's Micro Anvika, and the national John Lewis chain (whose staff at least know the difference between a Mac and a PC, which is more than you can say for other well-known High Street electronics retailers). Yes, the Mac has a retail presence, but it's by no means as visible as it could or should be.

The difficulty for Apple UK is the fact it operates in a much smaller market than the US. That means it has far less room to manoeuvre in which to get away with competing with its own resellers.

Then again, since Apple stores would raise the profile of the platform - just as, say, Orange and Vodafone stores operate alongside third-party resellers like Carphone Warehouse - resellers stand to benefit too.

Whatever the channel thinks, however, it's clear that the buyers themselves want an Apple presence on Britain's High Streets. ®

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Macworld: 66% want Apple store in UK 'now'

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