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Apple plans four new international retail stores

Several postings scattered throughout the Internet, including some on Apple's own website, have revealed company plans to open four more international retail stores this year: two in the United Kingdom and another two in Japan.

Two New UK Stores

According to Apple's UK jobs website, new stores in Sheffield and Manchester should turn up a little later this year. The company has already begun the staffing process and is seeking qualified Mac Geniuses, Mac Specialists, and Inventory Specialists for each store.

Rumors dating back to last September implied that representatives from a "large computer company" were looking for a "sufficiently large" retail space in Manchester, hinting that this store will likely fit Apple's flagship model.

Apple currently operates two retail stores in the UK: a massive flagship location on London's Regents Street and a smaller-scale store in Birmingham's Bull Ring Shopping Centre. By August, a third UK location should also be operational inside the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.

Another Two in Japan

Meanwhile, Japanese websites are abuzz over two new Apple stores scheduled to open in Japan by year's end. Apple retail store enthusiast website ifoAppleStore notes that Apple is using the local websites to recruit staff for stores in Sendai and Fukuoka.

Both locations are members of an existing Apple Japan retail store hit list, which prioritizes over two-dozen Japanese locations that are prime for future Apple stores.

According to the document, both stores are likely to be placed within existing shopping centers that offer street access. The Fukuoka store is listed as a "B" priority location in close proximity to a rail station that caters to over 380,000 average users. The Sendai store is also near a rail station and is expected to become Japan's first "C" priority location.

Apple has already knocked-down three "A" priority Japanese flagship locations in Ginza, Shinsaibashi, and Nagoya Sakae.