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Wednesday, February 25, 2004, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Second Apple Store coming to San Francisco, sources say

Apple has plans to launch a second Apple retail store in the San Francisco bay area this year, AppleInsider has learned.

According to sources, the computer company was recently quick on its heels to secure retail space at San Francisco's Stonestown Mall, as rumors of a retail vacancy began to spread.

When a leading European beauty chain heard that Victoria Secret would soon be abandoning its current Stonestown location, the company inquired about the retail space only to find out that Apple had leapfrogged them to the lease signing.

Real estate trust and mall owner, Macerich Company, would not confirm or deny reports of an Apple lease signing, stating that it is "not at liberty to discuss any pending negotiations with any prospective merchants for Stonestown."

Macerich also declined to provide information concerning projected store openings, or the status of the Victoria's Secret store at this time.

"We have an obligation to our tenants to keep all negotiations confidential until such time that leases are fully executed, and announced by both the tenant and landlord."

Meanwhile, signs posted at the mall are announcing a relocation of the Victoria's Secret, directly across the hall, and into what appears to be a smaller shop.

This Saturday, Apple will hold the grand opening of its first San Francisco Apple store in Union Square at One Stockton Street at 10:00 a.m. PST. The store is one of Apple's five flagship locations worldwide, joined by flagship stores in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Tokyo.