Apple will open an own-brand Apple Store on London's Regent Street this year, The Times reports.

As it stands, the outlet will be Apple's second such store outside the US – it already has one such store in Tokyo. The move confirms the important place the UK market holds in Apple's plans.

The Times describes the new outlet as a "giant flagship store". It's going to cost Apple £1.5 million each year in rent, which will be payable to Her Majesty the Queen's property management company, Crown Estates.

The report describes the store as offering 20,000 square feet of space, and will be the first such flagship store in Europe. While Apple has 75 retail outlets, its large flagship operations are situated in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo and San Francisco.

Apple will take space in the Crown’s first redevelopment at 229-247 Regent Street. Regent Street attracts over 50 million visitors each year, both from within the UK and from overseas; its Christmas lights draw thousands to attend the annual turning-on ceremony.

The construction of Regent Street was first conceived nearly two hundred years ago during the long period of war against revolutionary France that ended in the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.

It was the first ever purpose built shopping street in the world and predates Paris' Champs Elysée and New York's Fifth Avenue. Window shopping as a social activity became popular in the 1830s in the UK.

The surviving buildings in Regent Street were built when Britain was at its strongest as a world power and were designed by some of the finest British architects of the day, particularly: Richard Norman Shaw, Sir Reginald Blomfield, Sir John James Burnet, Arthur Joseph Davies, and Henry Tanner.