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Thursday, March 15, 2012, 02:32 pm PT (05:32 pm ET)

Harrods of London 'Apple Shop' debut to coincide with new iPad launch

Upscale U.K. department store Harrods of London announced on Thursday that its new 'Harrods Technology' department, which includes a so-called 'Apple Shop,' will open its doors on Friday to launch the third generation iPad.

The official opening of the Harrods Technology department is set to take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 16, and is meant to coincide with the worldwide launch of Apple's new iPad, according to the store's official Twitter feed.

Apple's store-within-a-store will join other electronics manufacturers like Sony, LG, Samsung and others on the third floor of Harrods' world-famous Knightsbridge store. The department will also feature standalone boutiques for high-tech brands such as Bang & Olufsen and Porsche Design.

It is unclear whether Apple will get its own separate retail space, or if it will be akin to U.S. Best Buy locations where the iPad maker has a relatively undefined area for its products. In the Thursday announcement, a Harrods spokesman referred to an "Apple Shop," which is not the official "Apple Store" name that the Cupertino, Calif., company uses for its retail outlets.




Apple Stores worldwide are expected to open their doors at 8 a.m. on Friday to throngs of customers hoping to nab a new iPad. The rollout will take place in ten countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.K. It will also be available in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In a Thursday announcement, mega-retailer Walmart said that it would be selling the tablet from 12:01 a.m. at its 24-hour U.S. locations.