updated 10:50 am EST, Wed January 27, 2010
Classic architecture may slow expansion
Apple will open at least three stores in Spain this year, various sources claim. Two of these are expected to open in the capital city of Madrid, one of which could be located in a shopping mall, Xanadu. The third is slated for the city of Barcelona, allegedly at 38-40 Passeig de Gràcia. The street represents a major business and shopping district, which would be consistent with Apple's tendency to build shops in high-profile, sometimes luxury-themed neighborhoods.
A fourth store is reported to be in development for Valencia, although it may require extra effort on Apple's part. The target location is thought to be 25 Calle de Cristóbal Colon, opposite the El Corte Inglés department store. The building on Cristóbal Colon was originally designed by Lucas Garcia Cardona in 1889, and is therefore claimed to be forcing Apple to pursue special renovation permits.
In exchange Apple should have a shop at an angled intersection, making it more visible to the public. Also attracting the eye may be some of Cardona's original design features, such as wrought-iron balconies and detailed masonry.
Apple currently has no stores in Spain, despite the country's wealth and regional prominence. Carrier Telefonica is in fact based in the region, selling the iPhone in many other nations through subsidiary brand O2.