The Copenhagen Post asked Dolph Hallestrøm, Apple's Director of European Retail Strategy, why Apple would decide to put its flagship store in a country with a population of only 35,000 people instead of other larger European countries that have yet to get Apple stores (such as Denmark, Poland and Sweden, which have populations between six and forty million people). Hallestrøm said it came down to two things: economics and beauty. "Liechtenstein is a tax haven that also happens to have the second highest GDP per person in the world. All that translates into easy high-end Mac sales with plenty of add-ons and attachments like MobileMe -- all of which leads to higher per-ticket revenue. I mean, we can't give MobileMe away in the States, but they'll gladly pay for it here -- and it's all because of that GDP," Hallestrøm told The Copenhagen Post. "Also, one of Liechtenstein's main exports is veneers, and as you well know, beautiful, symmetrical, shiny things fit with Apple's image. I actually wanted to open the store in Andorra to tell you the truth, but [Apple COO and acting CEO Tim] Cook insisted on Liechtenstein after getting his teeth done here last summer."
When The Copenhagen Post asked the Leichtensteinian Ministère du Commerce et de Frukt how the country felt about Apple opening a store that will take up one percent of all the available free space in the entire country, Deputy of Frukt Hans Tschütscher said the government was happy to have such a well admired company on home soil because it would draw tourists. "We're a small country -- only eight and a half kilometers wide -- and we have much natural beauty, but let's be honest, when you can walk the length of the entire country in five hours, there's not a lot left to do after that," Tschütscher said. "We need something that will keep tourists in our country longer, and we've seen just how much time people spend in Apple stores. It's insane how many hours they'll spend playing with an iPad 2. We want that kind of retention."
In related news, Apple is set to roll out specially engraved iPad 2s individually numbered from 00,001 to 35,000 and will sell them sequentially until every citizen of Liechtenstein owns one. "That's our real goal," admitted Hallestrøm.