May 15, 2008

Apple’s Newest Store Represents Global Retail Expansion

As Apple Inc, opened the doors to its newest retail store in Boston on Wednesday, a senior company official said that the company plans to broaden its retail ventures across the world.

Located on Boston's historic Boylston Street, the three story 20,000-square-foot store is Apple's second largest, behind London's Regent Street.

The California-based company said its newest stores represent a movement to expand its retail stores internationally. A new store is already expected to be constructed in Beijing this summer.

The construction of Apple's newest brick and mortar store was highly anticipated by many on the Web, as Tech Superpowers combined with Architosh and IFOApplestore to provide continuous Webcam coverage of the "birth of an Apple store."

Inside the store, Apple staff wear color-coded t-shirts; "Ëœconcierges' wear orange shirts bearing the slogan "I know people," a sales force of specialists wear aqua blue, and technicians dubbed "genius" all wear dark blue.

"These stores have served them very, very well and really raised the bar in terms of technology customer service," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research, a technology consulting firm.

In its latest financial quarter to March 29, Apple's store sales leapt 74 percent in dollar terms to nearly $1.5 billion.

Ron Johnson, senior vice president who leads Apple's retail strategy, said that international retain growth would be crucial to increasing future sales.

"Today, Apple is about 50 percent international revenue and about 50 percent in the U.S.," he said. "We increasingly want to get our retail presence out in the other countries."

Apple's latest filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show they operated 208 stores at the end of the second quarter to March 29, compared to 177 a year earlier.

Of these, nine were considered "high profile" in high-traffic neighborhoods with extensive amenities and products.


On the Net:


Birth of an Apple Store Blog