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Thursday, November 18, 2004, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Apple officially announces first retail store in Europe

Apple officially announces the opening of its first retail store in Europe.

Apple’s first retail store in Europe will open on Regent Street in London’s West End shopping district Saturday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m, Apple announced on Thursday. The Apple Store Regent Street will offer the first opportunity for customers to experience Apple’s unique retail stores in Europe.

"We're bringing the world’s most amazing retail experience to London on November 20 with the Apple Store Regent Street,” said Apple chief Steve Job. "This new store will provide millions of people the opportunity to experience Apple's newest products like iPod photo and the iMac G5, and get help from the most knowledgeable Mac experts around."

The Apple Store Regent Street pairs the building’s original stone facade with a modern retail interior of stainless steel, glass and stone. Inside are two floors where customers can shop for and learn about the latest Apple products and solutions, including dedicated sections for music, movies and photography.

The store sports a 14-metre long Genius Bar, one of the most popular sections of Apple’s retail stores, where visitors can ask a Mac Genius questions or receive product service. However, the company appears to be most excited over a new addition to its retail stores, The Studio. This area is being positioned as the 'creative hub' of the store where customers can get free one-on-one help with their creative projects from trained Apple Creatives who specialize in photography, publishing, movie-making and music.

In addition, the Regent Street location hosts a a 64-seat state-of-the-art theatre for presentations and two specially equipped studio classrooms offering hands-on technical instruction for Mac beginners and professionals alike, led by Apple Experts.

During the first month, the store will host more than 250 free customer events, including a live performance by Steriogram on Sunday, November 21, and a Kids section with eight computers running educational software and games.

With 99 retail locations worldwide, Apple stores have hosted more than 51 million visitors since the first store opened in May 2001.