Apple moots merchandise range

Apple Computer is planning to extend its brand into non-computer merchandise for the first time.

The beleaguered company that popularised the personal computer is to offer over 50 products, which range from jackets and childrenswear to simple mugs and badges.

The range of goods, called AppleDesigns, will be available through the Internet, by fax or over the phone.

In the past, a limited range of Apple-branded goods has been given away to clients and suppliers for promotional purposes.

Apple’s senior manager for worldwide brand licensing, Christine VanHoy, says: “Customer demand for Apple-branded products has risen steadily in recent years.”

The move comes after the company announced plans to set up an Apple Café chain (MW December 6).

UK communications manager Neil Holland says: “Apple is certainly interested in the idea of brand extensions. It is a strong brand. It has a much stronger cultural pull in the US than in Europe and these moves will be American-led.”

However, the company has also announced that it expects to incur losses of up to 100m in the fourth quarter due to poor sales.

New chief executive Gil Amelio warns that the company will still have to cut costs by about 750m a year, to 6bn.

Records lodged with the American Securities & Exchange Commission reveal Amelio has earned 2m since he joined the company last February.

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