By Josh Rosenthall:
When Apple began it’s retail initiative in the early 2000’s, even Apple fans had to second guess the rationale behind Apple’s plan. Up to that point, retail storefronts from other hardware companies – Gateway, for example – were complete and utter failures. Apple, however, was able to succeed by following a completely different gameplan.
One of the most important factors behind Apple’s retail success was its insistence on erecting store fronts in highly foot trafficked areas. Sure, the cost of real estate was a lot higher than what Apple would have to pay for stores out in the middle of nowhere, but the higher entrance cost paid off handsomely.
Today, Apple operates hundreds of retail stores across the globe. These retail stores not only serve as point of sale locations, but also give passerbys an opportunity to experience Apple products first hand while also giving Apple owners, courtesy of the Genius bar, a place to get 1-1 help on computer glitches.
Foot traffic at Apple retail stores has steadily increased over the years, and indeed, is part of the reason Apple stopped officially participating in tradeshows like MacWorld. Apple executives have since explained that Apple Stores effectively operate as mini MacWorlds each and every day.
A bold statement, but the numbers speak for themselves.
During the last quarter of 2010, over 74.5 million individuals visited an Apple retail store. During the most recent quarter, approximately 71.1 million individuals visited an Apple store. By way of comparison, Major League Baseball attendance figures for 2010 come in at 73.6 million.
That stat got Philip Elmer-DeWit thinking about if Apple was more popular than Baseball.
Pofit wise, there’s no comparison. Apple in 2010 generated over $9.8 billion in revenue from its Apple Stores alone while the MLB’s total revenue comes in at $7 billion. Visitor wise, the number of quarterly visitors to Apple Stores are almost on-par with Baseball’s entire 2010 attendance statistics. Annually, the chart below speaks volumes
Now, this really isn’t a fair comparison as we’re not accounting for the millions of folks who watch Major League Baseball games at home during the course of a season. And hell, it’s not like anyone is ever watching footage of Apple retail stores from their couches or while out in bars.
The sheer number of consumers who visit Apple retail stores however provides an interesting talking point and highlights the degree to which Apple has been able to succeed in an area where most other hardware companies have failed – Nokia and Sony come to mind, and Microsoft’s retail stores haven’t been doing to hot lately either.
And now, an inspired poem.
Take me out to the Apple Store
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me an iPad and an iMac
I want to buy more so I guess I’ll be back
Because it’s money I want to give to Aaaple
All the other products are a booooore!
Because the only thing more fun than a baseball game, is heading to the Aaaaple Stooore!