Yesterday, Apple reported its most profitable quarter in company history, and the growing visibility and profitability of its line of Apple Retail Stores continues to be a driving force behind Apple’s financial success.
More than just serving as a point of sale for Apple products, Apple retail stores have helped introduce the masses to Apple’s entire product line while also becoming the most profitable retail space per square foot in the entire retail industry. Put simply, Apple retail stores are huge money makers, a point driven home yesterday by Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer.
During yesterday’s earnings conference call, Oppenheimer noted that over the last quarter, Apple retail stores booked the highest quarterly revenue in history, in addition to recording a record number of Mac sales.
Specifically, Apple retail stores amassed $1.87 billion in revenue, compared to $1.72 in the year ago quarter. Mac sales originating from Apple Stores came in at 670,000, compared to 596,000 in the same quarter a year-ago.
But these impressive revenue figures and sales numbers aren’t simply the result of hardcore Mac users who purchase numerous machines. On the contrary, Oppenheimer noted that nearly half of all Macs sold to customers during the past quarter were to users who had never owned a Mac before.
Playing a key factor in Apple retail growth has been Apple’s retail expansion, with 15 new stores opening during the last quarter, a number which brings the worldwide total of Apple Stores to 273. Not surprisingly, visitors to Apple retail stores also saw a significant increase, coming in at 45.9 million over the past quarter compared to 42.7 million visitors in the year ago quarter, representing a 7% increase. As an aside, one of the more brilliant moves by Apple when it entered the retail business was that it made its retail stores cool and fun places to hang out, as opposed to simply a storefront used to push out merchandise.
But Apple ain’t done just yet.
Apple’s retail presence will continue to expand, with Oppenheimer noting that Apple is poised to open up its first 2 stores in France this coming November, with one of those locale’s being the Louvre. Apple is also preparing to open its fourth high profile Apple Store location in Manhattan, this time in the Upper West Side area.
Also of interest are that Apple’s learning programs for customers seem to be skyrocketing. Oppenheimer noted that there were 208,000 memberships in Apple’s 1-1 program, representing a 120% increase from the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, Apple conducted 608,000 personal training sessions.
All in all, it was a blockbuster quarter for Apple, a fact which is all the more impressive given today’s economic climate.