Apple Store performance blows away other U.S. retailers

Apple Stores gross more than 16 times the U.S. average revenue per square foot of retail space per year, according to new research by RetailSails. $300 per square foot annually is considered respectable, while the U.S. average in malls is around $341. Jewelers average around $600, while the median of the top 20 U.S. retailers sat at $787 per square foot. And what does Apple make? $5,626. Yowza. They're also leading by growth, boasting 49.1% year-over-year increase, which is way ahead of lulemon's second place with 24.2%.

Apple's retail experience is unparalleled, despite being a relatively new venture. Other stores have definitely borrowed a few ideas from Apple Stores, including the recently-launched TELUS Next Generation store. With Apple intent on setting up shop in Wal-Mart stores, one can only expect their retail performance to increase in the forseeable future.

How much do you guys figure you've spent in an Apple store over the last year or so? Do you find it's worth the travel to get to an Apple store, even if another retailer is closer?

A graph by Asymco showing U.S. retailer performance per square foot

Source: RetailSails via Asymco

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Apple Store performance blows away other U.S. retailers

19 Comments

Not really a surprise, though. They have tiny stores with extravagantly priced merchandise (almost all of which can be bought elsewhere for less). I'd be more surprised if they didn't have high revenue density per square foot. Silly metric.

Actually, it is surprising. Their products are very expensive, and the accessories are sold at full retail. So what drives the sales? Clearly Apple has come up with a value proposition that goes far beyond price, because otherwise their stores would be empty.
Selling expensive, often overprices products is not usually a recipe for stunning success. Apple has somehow managed to reinvent the wheel.

I agree. I love Apple but this is no apples to apples comparison (pun intended). Walmart sells a lot of merchandise but the majority is items costing well less than $100 each. This is a useless comparison and frankly I don't see how it can ever be realistic.

So they cram a bunch of high priced gadgets into small building foot prints - I fail to see how this metric represents anything.

Indeed. Even GameStop appears fairly high on that list!
It it was net profit then it would be a little more meaningful.

Great for them but really, their stores are small and full of nothing but high priced and high margin items. You could probably fit 5 or 6 Apple Stores inside a typical Best Buy. Best Buy isn't selling just TVs, but lots and lots of low priced low/no margin items.
The comparison is a little skewed.

TYPICAL Moron Android Fanboy, APPLE Hating Rhetoric.
How many times are you @#@#@#ing Fanboy's going to use the words "Over priced"/"High Priced"
If you're going to hate on Apple Blindly the LEAST you could do is be creative on your hate.. it's starting to get boring at this point.

Even if their stores are small and prices are high, so are other stores and merchandise, no? Jewelers for example. Either way, that's still a ton more Apple is making, no? If it was a few hundred more, it wouldn't be such a big deal.

I can understand this. I often have the choice to purchase an Apple product from Best Buy or Apple since they are within walking distance from each other where I live. However, I always end up going to the Apple store because I just love the experience there.
Apple stores don't feel like retail stores, I'm always excited to be there. It's the exact opposite for Best Buy.
I believe the small size matters as well. Call it simplicity. The smaller size and more available employees means that one can get help or ask questions quickly. Where at Best Buy, that just isn't the case as the store is huge.

They provide a great buying experience, catering to customers. Staff and customer support is fantastic.

Unlike Best Buy and other big box stores who's employees are about nothing except shoving an extended warranty down your throat.

no, this metric really does mean nothing - and I'm an owner of a 4S and MacBook. When all your items are incredibly high-priced when compared to another retail store, of COURSE this will happen. If everything at Wal-mart was this price and still in demand, they'd make the same money. But Wal-Mart sells cheap stuff for people who need it on a daily basis. Simple, easy, and this story is stupid.

I totally agree with pretty much everyone on this. Small space + high mark ups. This story inflates Apples value and potential.

I agree with the numbers being skewed, but I do enjoy the apple store when it's not packed. Since the original iPhone was launched (which I bought the 1st day at AT&T, all I've ever bought was a Bluetooth headset and today I bought the new apple tv because the one I bought a little over a year ago at best buy crapped out.
Btw, I notice a HUGE difference between the atv2 and the newest one on the same tv with same hdmi cable and all. It is amazing, but the new layout/menus took a few min to get used to.