Apple Squeezes the Most From Its Retail Stores
by Christopher Witrak, Minyanville staff writer
For the second consecutive year, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has used its retail space the most efficiently out of 200 US retailers surveyed, generating the most sales per square foot, according to RetailSails. According to RetailSails' 2012 Chain Store Productivity Guide (via AppleInsider), Apple generated $6,050 in sales per square foot of retail floor space. In 2011, Apple produced $5,647 in sales per square foot.
Tiffany’s (NYSE:TIF) came in a distant second at $3,107 in sales per square foot, and Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) came in third with $1,936 in sales per square foot. (View the rankings here.)
Apple's computers, smartphones, and tablets have drawn many customers to its brick-and-mortar stores, and Apple also ranked ninth for the second year in a row for highest sales per store with $51.14 million in sales per store. Last year, Apple generated $44.43 million in this category. Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST), Sam’s Club, and Neiman Marcus ranked among the top three in this category with $137.17 million, $78.55 million, and $72.95 million respectively.
Apple placed in the top ten for all three categories last year, but this year it did not make it onto the “Fastest Growing” sales list. Last year, it saw year-over-year sales growth of 70.5% at its stores. Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), and Gilly Hicks made it into the top three this year with 79.2%, 77.9%, and 58.7% growth respectively. None of these three companies qualified for the other two lists.
To gather data for the report, RetailSails analyzed 200 American retailers across 15 sectors. As a group, these companies operate more than 200,000 stores and generate more than $1.6 trillion in retail sales. RetailSails reviewed conference calls, SEC filings, company press releases, and company presentations for information.
The report did not include direct-to-consumer revenues generated by e-commerce, catalog orders, phone orders, and other various methods to help focus solely on sales of in-store products. It also excluded revenue from licensing and membership fees and financial services revenue.
The report noted that 90% of retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar stores the United States, showing that most customers want to test a product and converse with store employees and specialists to get advice before making a purchase.
Apple Stores in Brazil and Turkey
MacRumors reported today that Apple has posted job openings for new retail stores in Brazil and Turkey. The stores have not opened yet nor has Apple officially announced the opening of these stores. However, Apple's website lists details about open positions in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Jundiai in Brazil and in Istanbul, Turkey.
The opening of a store in Jundiai would make sense since Foxconn (TPE:2354) already assembles Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in the city.
Twenty-two job openings exist in Brazil, and the positions include everything from an accountant and tax manager to an inventory specialist and a store leader. Eighteen similar positions are available in Turkey.
In 2013, Apple plans on opening 75% of its estimated 30 to 35 new retail stores in countries other than the United States. Apple recently opened its first store in Stockholm, Sweden, making it the fourteenth country to receive an Apple store.
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