Apple To Open European Retail Stores Within 18 Months

International Mac fans take note: According to an article in Macworld UK, Apple plans to have a European retail chain in place between 6 and 18 months from now. Stores are expected to pop up in London, Paris, and other key western Eurpoean locations. From Macworld UK:

Despite its US retail division not yet returning a profit, Apple says it is "acting as a powerful tool for invigorating interest in our products". Retail revenues increased from $63 million in the third quarter of 2002 to $102 million in the fourth. Losses for running retail fell to $3 million from $6 million. Appleis retail outlets are on course to attract an annual revenue rate of almost $12 million per store.

Reporting the results last October, Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson said: "The retail division has knocked the cover off the ball, this quarter".

The company uses its retail outlets to reach beyond the installed sales-base. The retail outlets are also making significant sales of "beyond the box" items, including AppleCare and iPod, Anderson said.

During Januaryis Macworld Expo keynote in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed that retail-store revenue from October to December 2002 was "right on target" at $148 million. There were 1.4 million visitors to the stores in December alone, he claimed - with 50 per cent being Windows users. 85 million US citizens currently live within 15 miles of an Apple Store.

You can read the entire article at Macworld UKis Web site.