Apple aims to epen 35-40 stores by the end of this year

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Apple is aiming to expand its retail presence in the U.S. as well as abroad, with plans to open 35-40 stores in 2007 with more than 10 of those planned overseas.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer confirmed the retail expansion would continue at a "measured and controlled pace", with "around ten" stores slated to open outside the US by the end of the year.

"The executive said Apple invested in its retail stores last year and that he wants to continue that trend to make them a great place for customers. Oppenheimer pointed to roughly 20 Apple stores outside the U.S. as he highlighted the company's international efforts. About 10 of those [international Apple stores] we've opened in the last year. So we're beginning to increase our international stores openings," Oppenheimer said.

Right now, the company has international retail outlets across the UK, four in Canada and seven in Japan. It has been reported that Italy and Rome are also on the shortlist for new retail outlets this year.

“You’ll see us open in additional countries in the not-too-distant future," he said, confirming himself to be "very, very happy with the financial performance," of the stores.

He explained that setting up retail stores outside the US tends to "take a little more time" than in the US. He pointed out that these stores tended to require negotiations with more landlords than in the US, and also observed the c

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