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McClatchy-Tribune  06/19/2014 1:41 AM ET
Apple store appears headed for Lynnhaven Mall [The Virginian-Pilot :: ]

June 19--VIRGINIA BEACH -- Apple Inc., -- maker of the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers -- is planning to open its second Hampton Roads store at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach, according to the mall's owner.

General Growth Properties, the Chicago company that owns Lynnhaven Mall, has a profile page on its website for the property and names Apple among stores that will open there in 2014. The Lynnhaven page also indicates that Michael Kors, the sportswear and accessories designer, is expected to become a tenant this year.

Apple's only current Hampton Roads location is at MacArthur Center in downtown Norfolk. Michael Kors has stores at MacArthur and Williamburg Premium Outlets near Williamsburg.

Kathie Strauss, marketing manager for Lynnhaven Mall, said she couldn't confirm Apple's upcoming arrival and referred questions to the computer maker. "I'm really excited about your interest, but I can't speak on behalf of a retailer," she said. Strauss also declined to discuss Michael Kors' plans at the mall.

Representatives from Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., did not return a phone message left Wednesday on its media hotline.

The job search page of the company's website lists more than a dozen available retail positions in Virginia cities where Apple has stores but none where there are no locations. No jobs come up for Charlottesville, for example. For Virginia Beach, 14 retail jobs are listed, though no specific Beach store location appears, as MacArthur Center does for Norfolk.

The company opened the Norfolk store in September 2006, marking a turning point in Hampton Roads' retail profile and garnering attention from other coveted chains. Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and Urban Outfitters have since opened in the region.

Apple stores are considered a bellwether of the retail vibrancy of a particular market, with the barometer rising along with the number of Apple locations. Some markets smaller than Hampton Roads already have more than one Apple store.

Carolyn Shapiro, (757) 446-2270, carolyn.shapiro@pilotonline.com

 

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