Apple to launch its own branded store

Apple to launch its own branded store

Resellers unfazed by the news despite the threat of competition

Apple resellers are unsurprised at news that the vendor plans to move into the local retail market with its own branded store.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed it had submitted an application to council to establish a store. Industry rumours suggest it has leased a site on the corner of George and King streets, Sydney. This puts it within striking distance of several Apple resellers, including Next Byte's three city stores.

But despite the competition threat, former AppleStore owners are unconcerned. Managing director of Academy Store in Bondi Junction, Ben Morgan, was not surprised at the news.

"We looked at the market over two-and-a-half years ago and knew this was coming," he said. "That's why we decided to parallel the same services and transform into something that will be able to compete with an Apple store. But it's terrible that I should be able to say that because we should never be in the position of competing with them."

Next Byte joint managing director, Tim Kleeman, said any Apple reseller who had not factored the possibility of Apple opening a direct store into their plans was "silly". However, he was unfazed by the news.

"There's no reason to panic or change the way we look at the business. While there are some negatives about another site opening, there are also positives in terms of general public Apple awareness growing," he said.

Last August, Apple gave 60 AppleCentres until January 31 to forge new identities without using Apple, Mac or iPod in their company name. At the time, resellers told ARN the move indicated Apple was planning its own branded stores.

Digital Appeal managing director, Jean-Pierre Roux, expected its Central Coast business would be unaffected.

"I think Apple will open a Sydney and Melbourne store and then just sit on their hands for a while to see how the land lies," he said.

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