updated 10:50 pm EDT, Mon October 18, 2010
40-50 new stores, expansions for some old stores
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer reported significant growth in the Apple retail market segment, including a near-doubling of profit, a 75 percent increase in revenue and a huge increase in the number of visitors from last year. The company plans to not only open more foreign stores to capitalize on fast-growing overseas markets, but also wants to expand some stores to accommodate the increased growth, such as the recent remodeling/move of the St. Louis Galleria store.
Oppenheimer reported in today's fourth-quarter conference call that total revenue from the 301 average stores operating in the quarter (which ended September 30th) was $3.57 billion, up from $2.04 billion a year ago -- a 75 percent increase in sales. Mac sales were up 30 percent from a year ago (874,000 units sold versus 670,000), and the average sales per store was up 52 percent from $7.8 million then to $11.8 million now.
As has become expected, Oppenheimer reported that about half of all Mac sales were to customers new to the platform, but also mentioned a significant increase in the total number of visitors per quarter, 74.5 million, which was up 62 percent from a year ago.
In Q4, Apple opened a total of 24 stores, of which 16 were located outside the US -- including flagship stores in London, Barcelona, and two in China on the very last day of the quarter. Both of those new stores, in Beijing and Shanghai respectively, reported recording opening-day sales and have helped China's four Apple stores to claim the record for highest average traffic, as well as being among the highest sales performers.
The company plans to open 40-50 new stores in fiscal 2011, with a record 50% of them going outside the US. Oppenheimer mentioned that a number of existing stores would be renovated, expanded, and generally "right-sized" to show off Apple's current product lineup.
The recent opening in Barcelona was significant as marking Apple's retail entry into its 11th country, helping the total profit from the stores reach $917 million, up from $564 million a year.