September 13, 2006 4:17 PM PDT

Apple retail stores get new look

SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Computer is giving its stores a makeover.

The company will introduce a new look to its retail outlets starting with two new stores opening Sept. 23, said Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail at Apple. The stores sporting the revamped design are located in Providence, R.I., and Columbia, Md.

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"We are going to take the wraps off an entirely new store design," Johnson told a lunchtime audience at the ThinkEquity Partners Growth Conference taking place here this week. He declined, however, to offer many specifics.

The new design and feel is, in part, based on the fancy flagship New York City store that opened in May.

"Wouldn't it be nice to replicate Fifth Avenue?" Johnson asked. That store, built opposite the Plaza Hotel and Bergdorf Goodman, is actually underground but is topped by a glass cube. Johnson did not clarify whether the new stores would take inspiration from how the New York store works or from the fact that it's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Although all Apple stores look slightly different, they share similar design themes, Johnson said. Apple tries to use clean lines and to keep the spaces uncluttered. White is dominant. Johnson, who came from Target, said both Apple and his former employer have demonstrated that style and design can help push retail profits.

Fifth Avenue store

The new stores will be about the same size as other Apple stores--about 6,000 square feet.

Johnson added that Apple will continue to build stores at its current pace--about 40 new stores a year, or one every nine days.

He also had some snazzy facts about Apple stores. Apple holds about 3,500 events in its stores every week. Twenty-six percent of Apple's profits from the first three quarters of the current fiscal year came from the stores.

The average store gets an average of 10,876 visitors per week these days, up from 9,316 last fiscal year. The stores generate an average revenue of $441,000 a week.

Apple employs 5,000 at its stores, and employee turnover is a low 20 percent a year.

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4 comments

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By the time...
Dell gets it's shoes on, Apple's already gone around the track.

"Dell plans to open up two brick-and-mortar locations in a pilot
program to test the retail waters later this year, the company
says. But don't expect it to be like an Apple store -- all orders
would still be placed through the phone and Web."

Yeah. People want to walk into a store decorated like Dell's...and
place an order on the web.

Here's a hint, Dell: Sears doesn't put it's Auto Center next to
Macy's.
Posted by Hep Cat (440 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Didn't Gateway fail at this?
Having a store you can look at computers but still had to order over the web?
Posted by nmcphers (261 comments )
Link Flag
What is that?
Nikia's doing that crap too...
I went into the mall the other day and there was a large Nokia
kiosk. I went in and looked at the phones. When I asked how
much one of the phones was, they told me that they don't
actually SELL the phones there, they just let you see the phones
that are available from Nokia. Even stranger, they had two non-
salespeople sitting behind computers, not selling the phones. I
wonder what a non cashier makes there?
Come on guys... I can see a non working version of your phones
on line. Malls are not a good place to NOT SELL THINGS!
Posted by fear_and_loathing (82 comments )
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