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Apple plans Toronto retail store

Mac maker is taking its retail act north of the border, CNET has learned. Photo: iPod's Toronto presence

Apple Computer is taking its retail act north of the border.

The Mac maker confirmed to CNET on Friday that it plans to open a store in Toronto in mid-2005.

Apple started notifying Canadian retailers of its plans earlier Friday, according to Mac enthusiast site

The company currently sells its gear at 450 independent retail locations in Canada. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the company's Canadian retail plans beyond the Toronto location.

The move continues an international expansion that began in Japan and continues with this weekend's opening of a store in London. Two more U.K. stores are also planned for next year, Apple executives said at a press tour of the London store.

Apple hinted that its European plans are likely to take it beyond the British Isles.

"We clearly didn't come to Europe just for the U.K.," retail executive Ron Johnson said at the London event. "You'll have to stay tuned."

Apple opened its first retail stores in May 2001 and now has nearly 100 of the outlets. In 2003, the company announced plans for the first overseas location, in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district.

Sales from Apple's retail stores accounted for $376 million last quarter, nearly double that of a year earlier, and 16 percent of the company's total quarterly take of $2.35 billion.

Jo Best of contributed to this report from London.