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Is Apple to blame for the High Street's struggles?

Ashleigh Allsopp | Feb. 18, 2013
The recent failure of retailers such as HMV, Jessops, Blockbuster, Game, Comet and Play.com, and reports suggesting that 600 shops closed last year, have raised the question about what's to blame for the high street's struggles. Apple on the other hand is seeing huge success. What is Apple doing right? And is its success to blame for the failures of others?

"There's no better place to discover, explore, and learn about our products than in retail," he said. "Our team members there are the most amazing, awesome, incredible people on earth. It's the best retail experience. It's a retail experience where you walk in and you realise the store is not here for the purpose of selling, it's here for the purpose of serving."

"And so the Genius Bar helps you not only with an issue, but it helps you get more out of your Apple products over the life of them," Cook continued. "The store acts as a gathering place. It's a place that has an important role in the community. And so if you look at an agenda on an Apple Store for any given day, you might find that there is a youth program going on where kids from a local elementary school are coming in the store as part of their field trip. You might find that there's a local musician that's entertaining people in that store on that night. It's incredibly exciting what these stores do."

Apple is working on expanding its international retail business, opening stores in a number of new countries including Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia. With 30 new stores planned, the total of Apple high street stores will be more than 400 across the globe.

Those 400 stores will see an average of one million visitors a year. Each. Statistics show that Apple's retail stores are the most successful on US high streets, with seventeen times more sales per square feet than the average retailer. That's despite the company only having 12 years of retail experience, after launching its first two stores back in 2001, and its first European Apple Store at London's Regent Street in November 2004.

According to figures from Retail Sales, Apple's stores earn more per square foot than any other US store, by a wide margin. At $6,050 per square foot, Apple earns more than double what Tiffany manages (at $3,017 per square foot). According to those figures, Apple sees an average of 100 million customers every three months and each one of those customers spends an average of $45 (£28).

Yankee Group's Carl Howe told AllThingsD: "Apple's retail sales figures are nothing short of astronomical. In a world where Tiffany sells diamonds and manages annual revenues of roughly $3,017 per square foot according to RetailSails.com, Apple's retail stores average twice that. Said another way, Apple products are more valuable than diamonds - at least to the retail trade."

The news of the success of Apple's store comes despite last year's disruption in the Apple Retail department, with Rob Johnson's replacement John Browett apparently being fired after a catalogue of errors that seemed to happen after he took on the role.

 

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