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Apple schedules Southampton, Manchester stores

Internation retail expansion continues unabated

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Apple is planning to open at least two more Apple Stores in the UK, with shops set to open in Manchester and Southampton in the company's current fiscal year - by the end of September, in other words.

Apple's retail plans come courtesy of a ThinkSecret report which lists the company's primarily US-centric store expansion programme. The list includes two UK entries: Manchester's Arndale Centre and the West Quay Mall in Southampton. There are currently six UK AppleStores, in London's central Regent Street and Brent Cross Shopping Centre, in the Bluewater mall, in Birmingham's Bullring, in Sheffield's Meadowhall site, and Manchester's Trafford Centre.

As previously reported, Apple's first store in continental Europe will open this year in Rome, also present on the list. So too are three new Canadian outlets, in Toronto's Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens site, and Montreal's Le Carrefour Laval. Japan's six Apple Centres will be joined by a seventh in the Maruzen Building, Sapporo.

Interestingly, previously forecast German retail sites, all said to be in the pipeline for 2006 openings, are not on the ThinkSecret list. ®

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