Certain stores opened at midnight local time in Europe to get some early sales in for the May 3rd launch. An excerpt of the European strategy for the GCN from XenGamers reads:
According to Nintendo representatives, more than 50,000 consoles were preordered in the region. Nintendo plans to deliver 500,000 units at launch, with another 500,000 expected to ship to retailers over the next eight weeks. The GameCube will retail for 199 euros, 100 euros less than both Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s Xbox.