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Apple opening first South American location in Rio de Janeiro

Apple is planning to expand into Brazil with its first retail store in the country expected to open at some point in 2014 as it aims to capitalise on the excitement surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The new store, which is slated to open in February or March 2014, will be located in the new Village Mall complex located in Brazil’s second largest city Rio de Janeiro.

A source identified by 9to5Mac stated that the company’s expansion into South America is “a high priority” and the opening of a store in Rio de Janeiro is likely to herald a sustained period of retail investment from Apple.

Apple will ask some US based employees to move to Rio de Janeiro for a few months to help the expansion go smoothly and it’s reported this will help teach Brazilian employees the fundamentals of Apple’s retail practices. The US employees will also be able to assist customers and will serve as temporary workers as a result.

Another source quoted by the same site stated that Apple had planned to opened the store in July 2013 before issues related to there not being enough staff available curtailed its plans. There’s speculation this could again be the case and explains the lengthily time between now and the anticipated opening next year.

Rio isn’t the only city where it will open a store in 2014 with Apple preparing to open a retail location in Tokyo for the first time since 2005.

The store will open just months before the 2014 FIFA World Cup and a couple of years before the 2016 Rio Olympics, which both have a significant presence in the city and will produce an upturn in business for the firm. It echoes a similar move made by Apple back in 2008 when it opened a flagship store months ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in London before the 2012 Olympic Games.

Image Credit: Flickr (Lima Andruska)