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Inside Apple's revamped London Regent Street store

We took an early peek inside Apple's flagship London Regent Street store, which has undergone a dramatic makeover.

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Andrew Lanxon

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1 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Welcome to Apple's fresh Regent Street store, situated in the beating heart of London. It's the first store Apple opened in Europe back in 2004, and it's just been given a makeover following the redesign of the San Francisco store back in May. The store's new look was designed by the architectural firm that's building Apple's amazing spaceship campus.

We were invited inside the store, camera in hand, to take a look at the new design ahead of its official opening this weekend.

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2 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The store hasn't moved, and from the outside you won't notice much of a difference. It's situated on Regent Street, right in the middle of London, rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest luxury brands on the planet.

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3 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Inside, the store is every bit as bright and airy as you'd imagine an Apple store to be. Tables are neatly arranged around the main floor space, playing home to iPhones, iPads and MacBooks.

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4 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Around the walls is where you'll find all of Apple's accessories.

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5 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The walls, stairs and pillars are all made from fancy marble sourced from Bologna in Italy.

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6 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You'll be able to chat to Apple's new "Creative Pros" in this new display area upstairs. Like Apple's "Genius" staff, the Creative Pros are there to give advice on Apple products and how to get the best out of them.

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7 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The shop floor will be awash with Apple employees, wearing the traditional plain Apple t-shirt.

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8 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Interestingly, Apple has explained that it won't be using security tethers to secure its products in place. This way, Apple explained, people can feel what the phones are like in their pockets or in a new case, just as they would if they owned the phone.

While this does mean that it's potentially easy to walk out with a phone, the phone will recognise if it's left the shop and will sound an alarm and display a message asking to be returned. If it isn't, it will simply become unusable.

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9 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

All of Apple's products will be on display in the store.

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10 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

When the store first opened, only 100 employees were taken on. Today, it has over 500.

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11 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's a nice viewing balcony from the upper floor.

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12 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Behind the scenes is this swanky meeting room.

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13 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Big squares of plants can be found on some of the walls, which are apparently fed by an intricate series of water pipes behind the scenes. I'd like to see Apple grow some lovely basil in these garden boxes for the customers to graze on as they browse.

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14 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Architectural firm Foster & Partners is responsible for the redesign. It's the same firm that's currently building Apple's amazing spaceship campus in Cupertino, and is better known in London for designing the city hall and the iconic Gherkin building.

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15 of 15 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The trees are ficuses. They were no doubt chosen after lengthy consultations, although I couldn't find out why these exact trees were chosen.

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