Apple prides itself on the skills of the people who staff its retail outlets, undoubtedly one factor that's helped turn the stores into huge moneymakers.
But how much in sales does each store employee actually generate? Market researcher Asymco thinks it has the answer.
Looking at Apple retail store data published by ifoAppleStore.com, Asymco analyst Horace Dediu determined that the stores bring in around $100,000 in sales per employee each quarter. For 2010 as a whole, revenue reached $481,000 per employee. This year, revenue so far is averaging around $320,000, though that figure doesn't include the fourth quarter.
The amount of sales generated by each customer visit is around $45. And the stores bring in more than 250 million visits each year. Further, the number of Apple Store employees has risen proportionally to the number of visits. So there's now one employee for every 2,500 visits per quarter.
Assuming an employee works 360 hours each quarter (30 hours per week), that person will see around six visitors every hour. or one every 10 minutes.
Brewing all those numbers together, Dediu estimated that an Apple Store employee generates sales of around $278 per hour. Assuming that number is fairly accurate, it certainly provides one angle on why the stores have proven to be a cash cow for Apple.
And the company is certainly looking to generate even healthier revenues from its new Grand Central Terminal store, opening its doors today in the famed New York City landmark.
Apple already runs four other stories in Manhattan and more than 350 more around the world, but the Grand Central outlet will be its largest so far. Stretching between two balconies, the store will offer consumers more than 23,000 square feet of space. Shoppers will find two Genius Bars, a product pickup area, and 15-minute Express Workshops.
By nestling the store in the heart of one of the country's busiest terminals, Apple is looking to attract a huge flow of commuters. Around 750,000 visitors come through the station each day, says The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and as many as a million a day during the holidays.
The new store will employ 315 people, according to Apple. Based on Dediu's calculations, that means it should take in sales of at least $87,570 per hour, and likely a lot more if all those commuters drop in to buy their favorite Apple products.