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WSJ: Apple's search for retail chief going slowly

  • Sources tell the WSJ Apple (AAPL) has interviewed several candidates to be the company's next retail chief, but "has yet to settle on a final list."
  • One recruiter claims potential candidates are wary of taking the job because Apple hasn't been clear about its goals.
  • Apple has been without a retail head since John Browett was shown the door last October, leaving Tim Cook in charge of retail on an interim basis. Also, division VP Jerry McDougal left in January.
  • Apple's retail sales were roughly flat Y/Y in FQ3 at $4.07B. The company's total revenue rose 1% to $35.3B. Apple's retail sales per sq. foot, while still the envy of many high-end retailers, is down 4.5% Y/Y thus far in FY13 to $4,542, per consulting firm Customer Growth Partners.
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Comments (3)
  • rocback
    , contributor
    Comments (1014) | Send Message
     
    In the US, on a sales per square foot basis, Apple retail continues to perform twice as well as Tiffany & Co., the second best retailer, and three times as well as lululemon athletica, the third best retailer.
    1 Aug 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • Arthur Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (246) | Send Message
     
    With high-ticket items, relatively few SKUs, and no issues of fit or fashion, the ROI in these stores must be wonderful.
    1 Aug 2013, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • consultnick
    , contributor
    Comments (213) | Send Message
     
    And yet it could be so much better!

     

    At our University Village Apple Store here in Seattle, most of us walk around in amazement and usually drop a $Grand or so on something--nearly every visit--but almost uniformly we are dazed and amazed and could be hustled into so much more with training and application guidance.

     

    I see this is an enormous overlooked opportunity. Over the years, I have bought a ton of stuff (maybe $25k worth) in service of my family, and usually the last I see and hear from AAPL is an emailed sales receipt! Largely, we all have to go out into the world and seek guidance for "user knowledge".

     

    Apple could mine this market for far more than it does--it's not that dissimilar from photography, where purchasing the camera is only the very first step. Consumers would be happy to attend classes and user groups for years, if it were organized differently, leading to far more purchasing of software and Apple products.

     

    Retail could use a great deal of help--they have the store part down beautifully, but it's the "after-sale" component that is largely missing. That's the difference between a Micky Drexler approach to retail, and what is needed at the Apple Retail core--you don't need any help once you buy the cool jeans from a beautifully laid out store!
    2 Aug 2013, 08:55 PM Reply Like
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