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Apple (s aapl) is preparing to open five new retail stores internationally on Saturday, including one smack dab in the middle of competitor Research In Motion’s (s rimm) home territory of Waterloo, Ontario. Apple continues to grow its physical retail presence, which it has cited as a major contributor to the success of devices like the iPad.
The new Waterloo location (at the Conestoga Mall) seems significant, considering that the city’s biggest claim to fame is being the home of RIM, maker of the BlackBerry smartphones and software. Apple’s other stores in Canada to date have generally been located either in major urban centers, or in communities bordering such metropolitan areas. Waterloo, a university town with a reputation for being Canada’s Silicon Valley, thanks in large part to RIM’s presence there, still only has a population of 98,000, swelling to around 120,000 during the post-secondary school year. Apple’s first Canadian store to venture outside of the major cities and their suburbs certainly comes with a provocative address.
Apple’s other new stores opening this Saturday include two in the U.S., and two abroad. Here’s the rest of list:
- Fashion Place, Murray, Utah
- Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall, Anchorage, Alaska
- Southland, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia
- I Gigli, Florence, Italy
Apple’s planned retail expansion in 2011 includes a lot of international growth, and this crop of openings definitely reflects that. Any readers planning to pay a visit to any of these locations during their inaugural weekends?