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Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Saturday, November 15

Apple today announced on its website (via ifoAppleStore) that it will be opening its store in Lille, France on Saturday, November 15. The store will be located on 1 Rue Faidherbe, which also hosts a number of other luxury retailers and outlets. The store itself will contain two levels and span 1400 square meters (15000 square feet) and wrap around the city block, offering a wide amount of space for both sales and services. Apple put up its traditional black barrier around the store just last week, with the location marking Apple's eighteenth store in France. The Apple Store Opéra in Paris has become known as one of the company's most visually stunning locations, as Apple also has stores in Dijon, Lyon, and Nice. Apple is expected to hand out commemorative T-shirts to the first 1,000 customers to visit. The Apple Store Lille opens at 10 A.M. on Saturday, November 15, and the location has begun accepting reservations for workshops and Genius bar

Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18

Apple today announced (via ifoAppleStore) that its new Princes Street retail store in Edinburgh, Scotland will open next Saturday, October 18. The date was revealed this morning on the multi-colored banner that has been surrounding the location since July. Apple spent over a year constructing the store, which was followed by nine months of delays as it attempted to finalize its design. Image credit: ifoAppleStore According to the Edinburgh Evening News, the building containing the retail space was built in 1769 as the Crown Hotel. Throughout the past 40 years, the location has been occupied by a number of tenants including Woolworth's, Burger King, Waterstones, and Evans. The new store will also follow Apple's recent trend of constructing retail stores in historical buildings, most recently done with its MacArthur Chambers Store in Brisbane, Australia. Image credit: ifoAppleStore The Princes Street location will be Apple's 38th in the United Kingdom, and will join the company's Braehead and Buchanan Street stores in Glasgow. Like with other store openings, it is likely that Apple will give out free shirts to the first 1,000 customers to visit the new

Apple Hiring for Future Retail Store in United Arab Emirates

Apple today posted retail job listings for a future store to be located in the United Arab Emirates, indicating that the company may be soon opening its first store in the Middle East. The postings were initially spotted by ifoAppleStore and show typical openings for Specialists, Creatives, and Experts, as well as managerial positions for Store Leader and Market Leader. The report speculates that the store could already be under construction for an opening in February 2015 based on hiring schedules. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the UAE, posing for photos at various Apple resellers and meeting with UAE Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. While the reason for his visit was unknown, it is possible that Cook may have been meeting with officials about the possibility of an Apple Retail Store in the region. Additionally, MacRumors received a tip last year that Apple was planning to open a flagship store at The Galleria in Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi, a luxury mall that opened late last year. The source claimed the store would not open for several years, but noted that it could be Apple's largest retail store to date.

Apple to Construct New Retail Store in Dayton, Ohio

Apple is preparing to open a new retail store in Dayton, Ohio by the end of the year, according to the Dayton Business Journal and ifoAppleStore. The company is expected to occupy a space formerly held by women's clothing retailer Lane Bryant at The Greene outdoor shopping center, as a black construction barricade was recently spotted at the location. Apple also posted 12 job listings for the area ranging from Store Leader to Specialist on Tuesday. A site tracking future Apple Store locations reports it has confirmed by unofficial sources that The Greene is the next location and will open later this year, and sources have told the Dayton Business Journal that The Greene is expected to get the Apple Store. A large space, formerly occupied by Lane Bryant at 4422 Cedar Park Drive, is currently under construction behind large black barriers. Greene County records list building permits for tenant work at the site, but don’t name the tenant. Crews from Miller-Valentine Group were seen inside the construction site Wednesday morning, and said they didn't know what retailer was going to use the space. An Apple Store in Dayton would be the company's seventh retail location in the state of Ohio, which also includes stores in Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Westlake, and Woodmere. As part of its annual 10-K filing [PDF] with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple revealed that it plans to open 30 new retail stores in 2014, with approximately two-thirds of those to be located outside of the United States. A report last week stated the company is also planning to

Apple Retail's Emphasis on Profits Continues, Tied to Operational Perspective of Cook and Browett

Earlier this month, we reported on several changes at Apple retail stores that were reportedly seeing some employees being laid off or seeing recent promotions being retracted, while other part-time employees were seeing their hours reduced significantly, in some cases to zero. Our report was followed several days later by an acknowledgement from Apple that the company had "messed up" in adjusting its staffing formulas for its retail stores. ifoAppleStore now takes a close look at the situation, tying changes in the philosophy of Apple's retail experience to the passing of Steve Jobs and the operational focus of Apple CEO Tim Cook and new retail chief John Browett. At the most basic level, Jobs served as the champion for former retail chief Ron Johnson's vision of Apple stores focused on consumer satisfaction, and without Jobs to protect that vision Apple has slipped into a numbers-focused perspective for its retail operations.Johnson was champion of customer satisfaction, designing and staffing the stores to provide a superior experience for visitors and buyers alike. He was able to win over Steve Jobs with the concept that revenue and profit should be a secondary goal of Apple’s retail stores. But in 2009, Jobs took six months of medical leave and put Tim Cook in charge of the company, including the retail stores. Cook is primarily an “operations guy,” sources explain, and his natural focus is revenues and profits, not customers. While Jobs was away, Cook and chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer began to confront Johnson on his customer-centric retail

Apple to Upgrade Fifth Avenue Store Plaza, Temporarily Remove Iconic Glass Cube

ifoAppleStore reports that Apple has begun work on a $6.6 million project to revamp the plaza at its flagship Fifth Avenue retail store in Manhattan, home of the iconic glass cube entrance leading to the underground retail space. As part of the project, Apple will be temporarily removing the glass cube to install new pavers on the plaza. Workers reportedly appeared on site last night and began fencing off areas around the store to begin work on the project.Building permits issued on June 13th state the work will also include removing protective bollards, installing new pavers around the cube's perimeter, and removing and reinstalling surrounding water drains. According to the permits, the work could be finished by early November.It is unclear whether Apple will be replacing the glass panels of the cube or making other changes to the structure, or simply temporarily removing the cube to facilitate other drainage and paver work on the plaza. Apple's Fifth Avenue store opened in mid-2006 as the gleaming flagship of the chain, operating 24 hours a day. Despite the company having opened a number of significantly larger flagship stores around the world in the following years, the Fifth Avenue store has maintained its position as one of the busiest and most-visited stores in the company's retail chain. Update: ifoAppleStore has added a couple of photos of the gray plywood barriers around the plaza.