'Biggest' Apple store opens doors in London

The largest Apple store in the world is opening its doors for the first time in London's Covent Garden.

Set in the heart of one of London's busiest shopping districts, the new store is Apple's 28th in the UK and its 300th worldwide.

Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of retail, said: "Every time we make a product, we try and better what came before it, we tried to do the same with our stores and this is what we have done here. It is our most historic store, we've spent a lot of time refurbishing the building, retaining its original features and giving it an Apple spin."

The Grade II listed building was restored using English oak and York stone. Floating glass staircases, exposed brickwork and a large skylight complete the refurbishment.

The first customer arrived at 10am on Friday - 24 hours early - to secure her place at the front of the queue. International law student Rose Williams from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said she used the time to brush up on her studies.

"I brought along two law books," said the 29-year-old. "But with all the people wanting to talk to me I've not had much chance to read them. I'm hoping to buy an iPhone and maybe an iPad - I might treat myself to both."

Apple has employed 300 staff to deal with the expected crowds, swelled with the promise of more iPhones and iPads in stock than anywhere else in the world.

So far this year nearly 150 million people have visited Apple stores in ten countries including the US, UK, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, China, Switzerland, Germany and France. However, London's Regent Street store is Apple's busiest.