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World's biggest Apple store opens in Covent Garden

The world's largest Apple shop has opened in London's Covent Garden.

Some people began queuing on Friday so they could be among the first customers when the shop opened its doors at 1000 BST on Saturday.

An Apple executive said it was "a big moment" for the firm as it was its 300th store.

The Grade II listed building on The Piazza has been restored using English oak and York stone and it will employ 300 staff.

Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of retail, said: "Every time we make a product, we try and better what came before it, we tried to do the same with our stores and this is what we have done here.

"It is our most historic store, we've spent a lot of time refurbishing the building, retaining its original features and giving it an Apple spin."

Image caption The new store is Apple's 28th in the UK

The first customer arrived at 1000 BST on Friday.

International law student Rose Williams from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said she used the time queuing to brush up on her studies.

"I brought along two law books," said the 29-year-old. "But with all the people wanting to talk to me I've not had much chance to read them.

"I'm hoping to buy an iPhone and maybe an iPad - I might treat myself to both."

So far this year nearly 150 million people have visited Apple stores in 10 countries from the US and UK to Japan, China and Switzerland.

However, London's Regent Street store is Apple's busiest.

The actor and writer Stephen Fry, renowned as one of the company's devotees, wrote on his Twitter feed that the shop's prestigious address - No 1, The Piazza, Covent Garden - meant that "if all goes wrong, Apple will survive as real-estate owners".

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