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Believe it or not, Apple’s fanbase extends even to the former Soviet Union, where items like the iPhone have been in high grey market demand since its introduction in 2007. Now, it looks like Russia could get an official Apple Store, smack dab in the middle of Red Square in Moscow.
ifoAppleStore is reporting that Moscow, Russia had a visit from “top executives of Apple’s retail team” last month with the intention to finalize a deal for leasing space inside of the historic Hotel Moskva -- which would bring Apple’s products within a few feet of the once-infamous Red Square, the Kremlin and other Soviet-era Cold War sites now frequented by tourists.
“According to sources, Sr. V-P Retail Ron Johnson and V-P Real Estate Bob Bridger visited Moscow at the end of March and toured the three-level retail space in the future Four Seasons Hotel,” the report reveals. “The two were seen examining a 16,000 square-foot, two-level space as a possible Apple store. At the time, no lease had been signed, but a decision could be made soon, sources say.”
The website notes that the reconstructed Hotel Moskva retail facilities are “currently in the final stages of construction,” expected to open by the end of this year or early 2012 at the latest.
The move into the former Soviet country would follow on the heels of the recently opened Altmarkt-Galerie Apple Store in Dresden, Germany -- formerly known as the Communist state of East Germany. A Moscow store would also be the first Apple Store to land in one of the 15 former Soviet Union republics.
“The original Stalin-era Hotel Moskva opened in 1935 as part of a rebuilding plan for Moscow,” explains ifoAppleStore about the potential retail site. “It anchors the northern end of Red Square, is 300 feet from the ‘zero kilometer’ marker for all Russian roads and within steps of several main subway stations. The original architecture featured an imposing stone façade for passersby, and a window view of Communist military parades for hotel room guests. Over 75 years, it has hosted hundreds of world figures and celebrities, and even more high-level Russian dignitaries and politicians.”
Sounds like the perfect place for Apple to get its iconic products into the hands of more Russians -- and in plenty of time before the country hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, too.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of ifoAppleStore.com)