updated 12:05 pm EST, Thu February 23, 2012
In US, new Seattle store under consideration
Two or more planned Apple Stores in Australia could be in trouble following problems with a contractor, notes ifoAppleStore. Kell & Rigby is believed to be the structural contractor for all of Apple's Australian retail chain, but has been hunting for companies to buy parts of its business in order to avoid bankruptcy. Talks with several potential rescuers in the past two weeks have reportedly fallen through, leading the company to issue a "stand down" letter to workers, halting construction efforts.
Apple Stores are believed to be among the 24 projects Kell & Rigby has had to suspend. Two of these may be the rumored Broadway Centre (Sydney) and MacArthur Chambers (Brisbane) outlets, until now in the middle of construction. Apple could have have to turn to a new company to get the stores completed, and even then they may be delayed.
In the US, meanwhile, Apple's real estate team is believed to have recently contacted management at Seattle's Broadacres Building about a possible store. Three levels should become available when Nordstrom Rack relocates in the next few months; Apple, though, has not yet made a commitment to lease the space. A Broadacres store would give Apple its first location in downtown Seattle, since the next closest location is the University Village outlet.