Apple bid for this McDonald’s spot at Galleria del Duomo in Milan, Italy and lost to Prada.

Apple has become content in its ability to secure any landmark spot it sets its sights on and their status as America’s greatest retailer coupled with a $70+ billion cash hoard is an important persuading factor in negotiations. But when Apple wanted to open a flagship retail store in one of the most prestigious landmark spots in the heart of Milan, Italy’s business capitol, they got outbid handsomely by the country’s signature fashion label Prada, reports.

The Commission of the City of Milan last night opened the envelopes containing bids for a premium retail space in Galleria del Duomo, which is currently occupied by McDonald’s. Surprisingly, Apple’s offer came in just one meager percent higher than the asking price compared to a whopping 150 percent premium offered by Prada.

The Municipality of Milan was asking for €2.118 million for the first five years and €3.629 million for the remaining thirteen years of lease. Surely this misstep on Apple’s part is not a sign of greater trouble coinciding with the departure of retail wizard Ron Johnson, we hope. Apple was reportedly so sure in its victory that it turned down several offers for other city landmarks. No wonder, considering the Cathedral’s beautiful octagon with its unmatched visibility as one of the most prestigious landmarks in the city of Milan.

But there’s no slowing down, even as the company is licking its wounds from the failed job in Italy. Apple re-iterated in a conference call with analysts last month plans to open 40 new stores during fiscal 2012, thirty of which will open outside of the United States. As the show goes on, Apple appears to be in the early stages of opening their first stores in The Netherlands and Sweden.

Read on…

Per this Alt om Mac report, corroborating a June story by, Apple on October 27 registered Apple Retail Sweden AB, a brand new business obviously signifying retail presence in the country. It’s interesting that the business registration certificate filed with the Swedish officials lists their treasurer Gary Wipfler, attorney Gene Levoff and senior director of international retail Steve Cano serving as the subsidiary’s board. You may recall yesterday’s rumor that Cano might replace Ron Johnson as Apple’s new head of retail. Another first is a store in Amsterdam, the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. According to ifoAppleStore, the company pushed back plans to opens its first store in the country due to issues with historic preservation of the 1909-era building. That store is now scheduled to open in early Spring of 2012, Dutch site One More Thing has it.

The Hirsch building at Leidseplein 25 in Amsterdam is already the home to Apple’s branch office for the Benelux region

The outlet will be located on the ground floor and mezzanine of the Hirsch building at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam (see the below floor plan). The building already accommodates the company’s headquarters for the Benelux region on the third floor. ifoAppleStore describes the place:

The building overlooks a major plaza and the city’s tram line runs in front of the building. The interior is now used as a temporary art gallery, and resembles the Opéra (Paris) space. In April 2011 OneMoreThing located permit applications for the store, indicating the city historic commission has objections to Apple’s proposed renovations. Job listings posted May 8, 2011 for an early December 2011 grand opening.

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