Washington, DC, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami are additional cities in which Apple plans on opening retail stores sometime this year, reliable sources have told The Mac Observer. In all four cities, third-party consultants have been interviewing employment candidates one-on-one and giving further details of what is planned for the computer giantis foray into retail sales.
The four locations, like others planned in Denver, Chicago, New York, Palo Alto, Calif. and Glendale, Calif., will be located in suburban, upscale, metropolitan shopping centers and not in the heart of each city. For instance, in Washington, DC, the proposed store will be located some 30 minutes west of the nations capitol in Tysons Corner, Va., a high-income shopping mecca that is home to many dot-com companies, including satellite offices for AOL-Time Warner.
For the first time, people interviewed for possible positions at the retail locations confirmed Apple is considering offering a wide range of amenities beyond just demonstrating its wares and selling Macs. Sources report Apple has been interviewing candidates to fill sales, service and support positions, giving further evidence of plans for a full-service operation.
Sources report some employment candidates were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements guaranteeing they would not discuss specifics of the interview. In all cases, candidates were told positions would be offered in the next 45 to 60 days and that training would begin immediately thereafter. Exact dates the stores would open for business were not given, but those interviewed were told all stores would open "sometime in the calendar fourth quarter."
Recently, other sources confirmed Appleis plans for one store near Denver and another near New York City. "Theyire opening lots of them around the country now," Terry McEwen, president of Memphis-based Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, told Shopping Centers Today magazine. McEwen said Apple plans on opening a 6,200-square-foot Apple store in the lifestyle centre it plans to open in Littleton, Co., south of Denver, by November. The newest reports bring the total number of stores planned for opening this year to nine.
Apple is staying mum on the reported plans. CEO Steve Jobs refused to comments on the rumors, telling financial analysts in late January that the company wouldnit discuss "unannounced initiatives." At a Jan. 11 meeting with independent Apple dealers during Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Jobs wouldnit respond to questions about Apple retail stores. When asked by one dealer if it was fair for Apple to compete with them, Jobs responded, "itis a free country."
An Apple spokesperson refused to comment on the latest reports of Apple retail stores.