Macworld UK reports
that Apple is poised to open retail stores in Europe within the next 6 to 18 months. The report comes from an interview in the Sunday Business newspaper with Apple’s vice president and general manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pascal Cagni.
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Apple reported that its stateside retail chain returned US$102 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002 — numbers that both Apple CFO Fred Anderson and CEO Steve Jobs seem pleased with, based on their public comments. Although the chain is yet to return a profit, the stores have been threatening enough to retailers to cause some to file suit against Apple, claiming the company shows its own stores preferential treatment when it comes to access to new Mac models and marketing promotions.
Cagni told Sunday Business that Apple plans to develop a retail chain in western European cities including London and Paris, creating a potential challenge to European Mac resellers, which up until now have had unfettered access to consumers in the region. Cagni also told the paper that the iPod has a 40 percent marketshare in Europe.