Apple Store Floor Space Remains the Richest Land in Retail
$6,050. That’s how much Apple’s retail stores earn per square foot, according to the newest metrics from Retail Sails, which tracks the productivity of U.S. chain stores.
An impressive sum, and one large enough to make Apple the most valuable retailer per square foot in the United States for the second year in a row. By comparison, Tiffany & Co., the second most profitable American retailer by the same measure, earned $3,017 — less than half of Apple’s take.
In terms of highest overall sales per store, Apple placed a bit lower in the Retail Sails rankings. It came in ninth, behind outfits like Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart. But the fact that it even made it into a top 10 ranking dominated by wholesale retailers is noteworthy.
Apple has built quite a retail empire for itself in the 11 years since it opened its first store amid some harsh skepticism. As David Goldstein, president of researcher Channel Marketing, said at the time, “I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake.”
Goldstein couldn’t have been more wrong. Today, Apple has about 390 stores worldwide and plans to open another 33 or so next year. And they are taking in money hand over fist.
As Yankee Group Vice President Carl Howe said of the Apple Store’s performance, “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.”
Okay, that’s maybe a stretch, but the gist of Howe’s comment is right on. Remember that $6,050 per square foot is an average and that Apple’s flagship stores generate considerably more. “Back in 2010 or so, the flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York alone was estimated to be selling $350 million in revenue per year, and it is only a 10,000 square foot store,” Howe told AllThingsD. “Doing the math, you discover its sales rate was $35,000 per square foot, although Apple has never confirmed those figures.”