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Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Apple to open retail store in Amsterdam (Corrected)

Apple has laid the groundwork for a new retail store in the heart of Amsterdam, which may be open by the end of the year, according to a local Mac news website and first hinted by an AppleInsider report from last June.

Apple has secured a lease in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, according to  macned.nl. The report says the location is Building 16 in Dam Square, a historically famous location just beside the Royal Palace. The lease will not take effect until sometime this summer as the current tenants, Rabobank and Fortis — two of the Netherland's largest bank chains — both have a few months on their existing leases.

The Amsterdam Apple store will span three floors and is estimated at 11,000 square-feet, of which approximately 1,600 square feet will be used as office space or storage, the report states. It is expected that Apple will try to launch the store in time for the Holiday shopping rush in late November and December.

This latest move by Apple has sparked competitive concern and confusion for some of the area's current Mac dealers, three of which recently received financial aid from the company to upgrade the look and feel of their authorized Apple retail stores. At least a dozen additional dealers throughout the Netherlands have recently received financial support from Apple for similar cosmetic renovations.

According to the report, the landlord of Building 16 viewed Apple as a preferred tenant due to its desire for lengthy lease terms, as well as its potential to modernize the location with its inviting retail store model.

An official announcement may take place next Friday at the Madam Tussauds in Amsterdam.