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Apple to open its first Edinburgh store

Apple is to open its first Edinburgh store, as talks with planners regarding a site on Princes Street enter an advanced stage, The Herald can reveal.

Fans of the iPad and iPhone have waited for years for the Mac maker to move into the Scottish capital, and plans for its store on the famous shopping thoroughfare could be as little as weeks away from being officially lodged with Edinburgh City Council.

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A council spokesman said the talks with planning officers about a store on Princes Street had reached detailed level.

The spokesman confirmed: “Discussions are at an advanced stage.”

Apple declined to comment last night.

Among sites reported to be suitable is a premises next door to HMV at the west end of Princes Street, while there is an empty shop next to Debenhams, and store developments next door to the former Zavvi store, now Urban Outfitters, and between T-Mobile and the Body Shop near the middle of the street.

The company spent more than £1 million converting a listed property on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, transforming it into the minimalist Apple format which has proved a hit across the world, but maintaining the traditional facade.

But the move will not be welcomed by existing suppliers.

After Apple opened its first Scottish store in Glasgow in 2007, another IT services provider, Scotsys, closed down saying it had lost customers as a result, and that there had been similar problems wherever Apple had opened shops.

Apple stores typically feature a “genius bar” where customers can get free face-to-face support and advice, a dedicated space for personal training sessions through “One to One” membership.

At the launch of each new product, stores see huge queues of customers with interest high for the sought-after equipment.

Scotland’s second Apple store opened in 2009 in the £275m Union Square development in Aberdeen.

The iPhone 4 sold 600,000 in pre-orders in a single day and Apple’s other most recent hit was the iPad tablet computer. More than three million iPads sold the first three months.

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