Last month we learned that Apple was planning to open a retail space inside one of the world’s most famous department stores, Harrods in London.

A 9to5Mac report on Wednesday says that according to sources at the department store, Apple will begin trading between March 12 and March 19. These dates would tie in nicely with the rumored announcement of the iPad 3 early next month, possibly March 7.

As 9to5Mac points out, Apple often brings its new products to its retail outlets a couple of weeks after unveiling them, and usually on a Friday, so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that the Cupertino company is planning a double hit — the launch of its new iPad and the opening of its Harrods store-in-store on the very same day, Friday March 16. Of course, we’re talking about the UK launch day here; it may be different in other countries.

Harrods can get hundreds of thousands of shoppers visiting in a single day, so imagine the mayhem that could ensue if the opening of the Apple store and the launch of the new iPad take place on the same day. Hmm, maybe not such a good idea after all.

One of London’s top department stores, Harrods first opened its doors 163 years ago. It’s world famous for its enormous range of luxury goods spread over seven levels covering more than a million square feet (90,000 square meters) of floor space.

London is currently home to five other Apple stores, though the one at Harrods will be the city’s first store-within-a-store location.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks about the possible launch of a new iteration of Apple’s popular tablet device. Though no official announcement about the iPad 3 has been made by the tech giant, it’s widely expected that a new version of the tablet will be unveiled some time next month, possibly featuring an improved 8-megapixel camera and high-resolution Retina display.

[Image: Mikegr]