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By Carl Howe

Red Herring put out some great data from Sanford Bernstein Research last week showing that Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) stores are posting more than $4,032 in annual revenue per square foot of space.

That's more than six times the revenue per square foot at Neiman Marcus, four times that of Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and about one and a half times that at Tiffany's (NYSE:TIF).

click to enlarge
apple retail large
Graph of Apple retail sales through mid-2005 (Source: Apple Computer financial presentation)

The article then proceeds to compare Apple's retail store strategy with that of Gateway's (GTW), which is a little bit like comparing the Four Seasons hotel chain's strategy with Holiday Inn's: they address different target markets and get different results. But given that I spent almost a year defending Apple's retail strategy when the company opened its first stores against a crowd of analysts claiming it was stupid, it's nice to have vindication through data, even if it is five years later.