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Apple eyes Birmingham for next UK store

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Update The UK is ripe for its own chain of Apple-owned stores, the Mac maker has revealed.

Apple's first UK store - and the first in Europe - is set to open next month in London. The prestigious Regent Street development is nearing completion, if our attempts to peer past the builders' boards are anything to go by.

It's second will be Birmingham, with the store due to open "early 2005". The company is currently seeking a store manager to run an outlet in the West Midlands conurbation's infamous - though now rebuilt, local readers tell us - Bullring Centre. Interested applicants can learn more here, though the application date has now passed. Apple is recruiting other staff for the Bullring store here.

In addition, Apple is pondering sites in eight other locations, Macworld UK reports. Towns in Apple's eye include Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and Southampton, an unnamed source told the magazine.

Apple recently opened its second Japanese store, and the company yesterday announced plans to open a number of "mini" stores in "interesting" US locations.

Apple's stores contributed $376m to the company's bottom line during its fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, 16 per cent of the total and 95 per cent up on Q4 2003's figure. ®

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