updated 12:25 pm EDT, Tue August 16, 2011
Expansion plans pick up pace
Apple is planning three major Apple Store openings for this Saturday, reports note. In the US Apple will finally be opening its long-awaited Berkeley store, located at 1823 4th Street. The outlet was greeted with some mild controversy before its construction, since plans called for it to swallow up an outdoor plaza frequently used by animal adoption agencies to showcase pets. As is usual with Apple Stores, the grand opening is scheduled for 10AM local time.
In the UK Apple is launching a Festival Place store in Basingstoke. The city lies on the outskirts of the London area, a little over an hour away from London's core. The Festival Place opening is unusual in that it is taking place at 9AM. It will also have comparatively restrictive hours; though it will operate seven days a week, it will close at just 7PM on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays.
Spain will see a second Madrid store arrive on Saturday, this time in the Parquesur commercial center. Doors open at 10AM, and during the most of the week the shop's hours will run from 10AM to 10PM. It will be closed entirely on Sundays, an exception being August 28th, when it will operate using weekday hours.
Apple is currently in the middle of a massive retail campaign, adding dozens of new stores while expanding or renovating others. The company hopes to have another 20 outlets built by the end of September. The most intense efforts are taking place in New York City, where Apple is constructing a Grand Central Terminal store, replacing its Fifth Avenue cube, and expanding the SoHo outlet.