Apple announces opening of first retail store, in Virginia
CUPERTINO, Calif. Apple Computer Inc. will open its first retail store, in McLean, Va., on May 19 the first of what is expected to become a chain of Apple outlets.
Until its media invitation yesterday announcing the grand opening, the Cupertino-based personal computer maker had refused to officially confirm its plans for stores. News reports have instead relied on city sources, including Apple's pending application to build a store in downtown Palo Alto.
Apple relies mainly on resellers, large electronics retailers and its own Web site to sell its products.
The McLean store will be in Tysons Corner, one of two large business centers in a city that has been increasingly attracting high-tech businesses. Tysons Corner has the highest concentration of high-technology employers of any other location in Fairfax County, according to the city's Web site.
The city, part of Washington D.C.'s greater metropolitan area, is also home to several federal government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency.
Chris Le Tocq, an analyst at Guernsey Research, thinks Apple may be going after the government market, in part by getting more federal employees to use their products.
Unlike Gateway Inc., which has about 300 stores throughout the United States, Le Tocq said "Apple is being more targeted here, going for areas where it feels it is not getting its fair shake."
Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox refused to discuss details of the store or Apple's plans for other outlets.