Technology

Apple closing 20 stores… to make them bigger

February 17, 2013

Apple said a number of existing stores are no longer large enough to keep up with growing customer numbers. – Reuters picApple said a number of existing stores are no longer large enough to keep up with growing customer numbers. – Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Feb 17 – As well as its expansion plans at or near existing sites, Apple is also planning to open a further 30 stores.

In a keynote speech this week at the Goldman Sachs investor conference, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook revealed that its growing retail chain already receives roughly 10 million visitors a week and a number of existing stores are no longer large enough to keep up with growing customer numbers.

In the same address, Cook also confirmed widely reported rumors that the company’s first Turkish Apple store is set to open in Istanbul later this year and that most of the chain’s immediate expansion would be “disproportionately outside the US.”

In a series of recent interviews, Cook has stressed the importance of China as a future market for Apple products; therefore most of this expansion is expected to take place in southeast Asia.

Despite widely held beliefs that the physical store is set to disappear once and for all thanks to the growing pull of the internet and online retail, Apple’s latest earnings figures show that its retail chain generated US$6.44 billion (RM20 billion) in revenue in Q1 2013.

In explaining their success and Apple’s continued investment in extending their reach, Cook said that for most people, the Apple Store had become the public face of the company and that when consumers think of Apple’s headquarters, they think of their local Apple store and not the company’s offices in Cupertino.

He also likened going to an Apple Store after a hard day at the office to an antidepressant.

“I don’t have very many bad days,” he said, “but if I ever feel like I’m dropping down from an excited level, I go into a store. It’s like a Prozac or something!” – AFP-Relaxnews