Rumours that Apple is opening its own retail chain have been fuelled by US retail insiders.

It has been revealed that Biltmore Fashion Park, a shopping mall in Phoenix, Arizona, US, will house a 5,397 square-foot Apple retail outlet. The store will rub shoulders with restaurants and boutiques.

This follows a report in March that president of Memphis-based Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, Terry Ewen, had plans to house a 6,200-square-foot Apple store in a lifestyle centre called Aspen Grove.

Quoted in an article in International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC), Ewen said: "They're [Apple] opening lots of them around the country now."

Other ICSC reports have claimed Apple stores are set to open in malls in San Francisco, Scottsdale, in Arizona, and on Chicago's Michigan Avenue.