Apple heads retail charts

14 November 2012

NEW YORK: Apple, the electronics giant, has the most "productive" store network in the US, as it generates more than double the revenue of any other firm when assessed in terms of retail space.

RetailSails, the insights provider, analysed over 200 chains spanning 15 sectors and operating some 200,000 stores. It found that 90% of value sales are still attributable to bricks and mortar outlets.

More specifically, it revealed that Apple's branches in the US yielded $6,050 per square foot for the year to June. This result was linked both to its devices and in-store strategy.

"Consumers get excited about the product," Robin Lewis, CEO of The Robin Report, the trade title, told the Financial Times. "Attached to that is also a learning process. You've got these young, attractive [staff] and they're all addicted to the brand themselves."

At present, Apple boasts around 250 branches in the US. When looking at its 376 sites worldwide, it reported that they made an average $11.2m, and received 19,000 visitors per week, in the last quarter

Tiffany & Co, the luxury group, claimed second spot in the RetailSails rankings, on $3,017 per square foot. It has also announced plans to add three new stores in the country by the end of 2012.

Lululemon Athletica, the yoga specialist, took third place on $1,936. The firm possesses 83 stores across the United States, and has seen like-for-like growth topping 20% throughout most of the year.

"We are ... so pleased at the response to that just basic core yoga business," Christine Day, its CEO, said in September. "We still see, particularly in the States, it is a very technical athletic guest that is purchasing the product."

Coach, another luxury operator, followed in the charts on $1,871, ahead of Michael Kors, the fashion house, on $1,431. Select Comfort, which sells high-end mattresses, posted $1,314, assisted by a wide-ranging transformation of its Sleep Number chain.

"We have rebuilt our business model to be a vertically integrated business model, where we control all consumer touch points," Shelly Ibach, its CEO, told Twin Cities. "We are the designer, the manufacturer, the marketer, the retailer, the servicer of all Sleep Number products."

True Religion, from the denim category, logged $1,227, with Vera Bradley, in the accessories sector, on $1,186, Birks & Mayors, the jewellers, on $1,082 and Fairway Market, the grocery retailer, on $1,081.

By contrast, Walmart, America's biggest retailer, posted $424 here. JCPenney, the apparel expert led by Ron Johnson, formerly head of Apple's retail division, registered a modest $128.

Data sourced from RetailSails, Financial Times, SeekingAlpha, Twin Cities; additional content by Warc staff