August 22, 2012
Apple Stores See 300 Million Visitors So Far This Year
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
For all the reasons people attribute to Apple´s success – killer, cutting edge products, slick marketing, great customer service – there is one very large, very broad reason for Apple´s success: Their retail stores.
Of course, many thought Steve Jobs and his team were daft when they announced they wanted to open the retail stores in May 2001. Jobs, after all, wanted to make extra certain that an Apple employee had control of a customer´s experience from the day-dreaming phase (wherein potential customers repeatedly build out their own Macs online) to the very last swipe of the credit card.
In the years following this bold move, (Other computer companies, such as Dell and Gateway had tried similar models and had failed miserably) Apple has seen millions of visitors pass through their flawless glass doors (and some even run into the glass walls) and have been able to provide the best user experience from every angle possible.
According to a report on Monday from everyone´s favorite Laughing Canadian, Apple has said they´ve seen 300 million people in their retail stores so far this year. Jim Dalrymple also writes in his piece that Apple has recently opened stores number 374 and 375 in Canada. Dalrymple was on hand for the new store opening in Halifax this weekend, where he said hundreds of people had lined up outside to be one of the firsts to visit the latest Apple store.
“Halifax has never seen anything like it,” writes Dalrymple at theLoopInsight.com. “Hundreds of people lined up to see Apple launch its latest retail store, screaming and clapping, as excited as you would expect people to be on Christmas morning before opening their gifts.”
The first Apple stores are about the same age as the iPod, Apple´s revolutionary music player. The idea of an Apple store was meant to be an extension of Steve Jobs´ plan to make the Mac the “digital hub” of a household, with other devices, such as cameras and music players, able to sync their content and data to this hub, then go elsewhere, free to capture or store more content. Shortly after the first Apple stores opened up in May 2001, Apple introduced the first iPod. Now, the Apple stores weren´t simply a place to buy the latest Mac or meet with other Apple enthusiasts, the Apple stores were also a place to play with these new music devices which had garnered so much attention and curiosity from the general public.
In their first year, Apple stores brought in $19 million in revenue. Ten years later, Apple retail operations brought in a revenue of $18 Billion, more revenue per square foot than any other retailer. According to CNET, Apple stores brought in five times the revenue of Big Box chain Best Buy.
Some visit the Apple store simply for the experience, to be able to witness all the machines lined up in a row, the blue shirts rushing about, taking payments on their modified iPod Touch devices. Others visit the Apple store simply for the free Wi-Fi and the opportunity to check their emails and even use these pristine stores as an office-away-from-the-office.
Whatever the reason, whenever Apple releases a new product, these stores are always packed to the gills either with people waiting in line to be one of the first to own Apple´s newest hardware, or to just get their hands on it and play with whatever new features Apple has announced.
With a new iPhone (and possibly new, smaller iPad) just around the corner, its very safe to say the Apple stores could continue to see millions of customers through the end of the year.