Apple opened the door of its new Coven Garden store to journalists today to offer a sneak peak at what it is calling "the best store we have ever created".
Set in the historic confines of London's Covent Garden, Apple has a prime spot in the market area and is hoping that the store will bring in the same big numbers that its Regent Street branch does - reputedly the most profitable store in London.
Ron Johnson, Senior VIP of Retails Operations at Apple, explained a little bit about what setting a shop in Covent Garden means to the company, saying: "We are hopeful that the store in Covent Garden will have the same impact to the area as the Regent Street store has had.
"Every time we make a product, we try and better what came before it, we tried to do the same with our stores and this is what we have done here. It is our most historic store, we've spent a lot of time refurbishing the building, retaining its original features and giving it an Apple spin."
The store is Apple's 300th and there are more to come, with Apple hinting that it wants to expand in Western Europe and Asia.
In fact the company is putting the finishing touches to a store in Spain which will be opening "this Fall".
The Covent Garden branch is one which is opening simultaneously with stores in Paris, Chicago and Shanghai.
As to whether Covent Garden – its biggest-ever store – will become the flagship for the company, Apple explained that it wasn't one to label branches, saying: "As we have gone through the past 10 years we have learned a lot. Most companies have flagship stores, our best stores are the ones that the public like the most.
"The one that taught us the most was the Regent Street store. That was our first store in Europe – it was a big bet, one which has paid off.
"It is our most trafficked store, outranking even the one in New York."
To deal with the baying crowds, Apple is employing 300 people to staff the Covent Garden branch and it will also be introducing a new payment system, EasyPayTouch, which can check customers out anywhere in the store with credit card swiping technology connected to employees' iPod touches.
The Covent Garden branch is the 28th to open in the UK, which makes the country the most stocked with Apple stores outside of America.
And it may well be the most expensive store Apple has created, with the company hinting that it "spent the right amount of money on the store - it was expensive in part because we had to restore every little detail. It took a lot of time and effort to restore this location."
The branch is split into three levels – complete with two glass staircases – and the sheer amount of space on offer means that Apple can showcase its products in separate rooms.
This means there is a separate room dedicated to Macs, iPhone 4s and iPads. And when it comes to third-party accessories, the whole of the second floor is dedicated to add-ons for Apple products.
There is also a Genius Bar in the store for free technical support - one of the longest we have seen - and a new to the store is something called ProLabs.
This is where customers can get in-depth training on Apple's professional applications, which include things like Final Cut Pro. The store will also offer workshops and a number of youth-orientated programmes.
So, you will be able to learn how to get the best out of all your Apple goodies.
The Apple Store Covent Garden opens its doors to the public Saturday 7 August and if you are one of the first 4,000 people through the door you will EVEN get a special t-shirt.
Not only that, there will be more iPhones and iPads in this store this Saturday than anywhere else in the world.
And, before you ask, the store will be stocked well with 'bumpers'.
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