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Apple teases new store openings in Japan for 2019

Apple this week posted a pair of images to its regional website in Japan teasing what appears to be plans to open two new brick-and-mortar stores in the country later this year.

The company recently updated its retail webpage with cycling banner graphics publicizing renovations at Apple Omotesando and two stylized Apple logos potentially representing plans to open new locations sometime in 2019.

Apple has in the past used artistic renderings of its trademark logo to promote retail operations in Asia, including store renovations and grand openings in Japan and China. In Japan, the general motif sees the Apple logo precede Japanese kanji characters that denote the store's location.

In early 2018, for example, the company teased a then-upcoming shop in Shinjuku with logo art reminiscent of neon lights, a nod to the bustling Tokyo ward's rich nightlife. Later that year, Apple advertised the impending opening of its Kyoto location with a stylized logo set off against a traditional patchwork pattern.

Not much is known about the forthcoming outlets beyond the two teaser images on Apple's website. One version shows off the logo in a series of four lines with gradated colors that borrow from Apple's classic rainbow branding, while the other hints at an orange sun reflecting off an arrangement of progressively thin slats. Beneath both logos sits text that translates to "planned for 2019."

It can be speculated that one of the new designs relates to a rumored store thought to be under construction at the base of the Mitsubishi building next to Tokyo Station in the capital's Marunouchi district. Apple's line drawing might pay homage to the multiple train and subway stops lines that converge in the area, each of which bears a different color on official city maps.

Apple is quickly building out its physical presence in Japan. Last year, former retail chief Angela Ahrendts announced a five-year plan to reinvest in the market with new brick-and-mortar locations and a series of renovations. The company currently operates eight locations across the country.