Five new stores are to be launched by Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) this week. The first is the Rio Shopping outlet, based in Valladolid, Spain. At 10AM local time on Thursday, it is to be launched likely in anticipation of the iPhone 5's debut on Friday. Three other stores will be launched at 8AM on Friday, unusually an hour early reserved for iPhone rollouts.
Among these is the Sindelfingen location just outside of Stuttgart, Germany. Earlier this month the store was said to have had its opening moved from the 22nd to the 20th, but the official date is indeed the 21st; the 20th may have been referring to a media preview event. Others are La Toison d'Or in Dijon, France, and Valley Plaza in Bakersfield, California. Even though Apple already has 51 other stores in the state -- more than France, Spain, and Germany combined -- there are some 800,000 people in Bakersfield, which until this week was almost 90 minutes away from the next closest Apple Store, the latter will fill a gap in California coverage.
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Soon after the iPhone 5 premiere, opening at 9AM, is the Il Leone outlet in Lonato, Italy. The country won't be getting the iPhone 5 until the 28th, and so Apple has no immediate pressure to throw open the shop's doors.
Very often Apple stores are launched to coincide with the introduction of new products, since it offers advantages like extra publicity, greater reach, and/or a higher profit on sales versus working with third-party retailers.