updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu May 12, 2011
France, University of Delaware stores also pegged
Apple is planning to move its Bellevue Square store in Washington to another space within the same mall, says ifoAppleStore. The current location is on the ground floor, and launched in 2003 with about 4,600 square feet. The new shop will reportedly take up twice the area of the old one, a feat accomplished by moving to a space on the second floor previously occupied by three different businesses.
An ulterior motive appears to be coping with the presence of Microsoft. The current Apple Store is just three spaces away from Microsoft's first-ever retail outlet, which opened in November 2010 and was likely deliberately situated to draw attention away from Apple. The financial impact of the competition is unknown, but Apple is nevertheless expected to complete a move by the end of 2011.
The University of Delaware's Board of Trustees has meanwhile announced that a new bookstore, opening this fall, will include some form of Apple store. Whether or not the shop will be a full-scale, first-party operation or simply a reseller is unmentioned, but Apple already has a small-scale operation at the school, and is known to be planning a store at Yale University in Connecticut. The new U-of-D site could be based alongside a 60,000 square-foot Barnes and Noble project set to open on August 30th, which will be surrounded by a Starbucks and other concessions.
Confirmed by Apple is a new store in Bordeaux, France. The outlet will launch at 10AM local time on Saturday, and is situated at 2-4 Sainte-Catherine. Regular hours should run from 9AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday. The shop is only Apple's sixth in France; three of them can be found in or near Paris.