Technology giant Apple has painstakingly guarded any news of the imminent opening of its first Capital store, refusing to confirm that it even has plans to open an outlet in Edinburgh, despite months of fevered speculation. But a notice directing workers to a trade entrance of the building on Princes Street has given the game away to eagle-eyed passers-by.
Today, however, the famously secretive company was still playing its cards close to its chest, saying it had “not made any announcement regarding a store in Edinburgh”.
Gadget lovers started getting excited last year when rumours circulated that Apple was converting the former Burger King, opposite the Balmoral Hotel, into a new store, saving Apple enthusiaststravelling to their nearest outlet in Glasgow.
The company advertised “new opportunities” in Edinburgh in November 2012, and in March 2013, plans similar to previous Apple stores were submitted to the city council by London-based MPA Architects, which designed the company’s London shop.
Independent gadget repair company SimplyFixIt has already opened a new store, across the road on Waverley Steps, in anticipation of the news.
Operations manager Jason Eccles said he knew Apple had permission to use the unit’s pavement until June 1.
“Like most Mac users we are excited about them coming – we have been gearing up for this,” said Mr Eccles.
“Apple are so tight-lipped about everything – the June date was the best indication I had but they could have, for all we know, got permission for somewhere else.”
Reza Najafi, manager of The Cafe Royal, said: “It will bring a lot of business into the area, I cannot wait for it to open.”
David Birrell, chief executive at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “Edinburgh has always been one of the UK’s leading retail destinations.
The resilience shown by the city centre is testament to this and it is great that Princes Street, at the heart of the city, is attracting big brand names.”
FIRM WORTH £380 BILLION
Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who created Apple Computer on April 1, 1976.
For more than two decades the main products were personal computers, including the Apple II, Macintosh and Power Mac lines but in 1998 the first iMac was released.
This was followed by the first successful iPod music player in 2001 and iTunes Music Store in 2003 before becoming Apple in 2007.
Now it has more than 500 million users and is now the largest publicly traded corporation in the world with an estimated value of £380 billion.