Apple Retail Store Sales Continue to Grow

| Apple Stock Watch

Apple Computeris retail Apple Stores continued to perform well during the recently ended September quarter. The company reported during Tuesdayis analyst conference call that its Apple Stores saw revenue of some US$673 million during the quarter, up $108 million sequentially and 76% from the prior year.

All told, the retail stores contributed $35 million in operating profits and $133 million in associated manufacturing profits. The company sold 202,000 Macs through the Apple Store chain, 16% of the 1.236 million Macs sold during the quarter.

The company also said that 45% of customers buying Macs in its Apple Stores are new to Mac platform. Historically, Apple has claimed that percentage of new Mac users, a combined total of Switchers and first-time computer buyers, through its retail store fronts.

Foot traffic at the Apple Stores continues to be strong, with Apple claiming that 14.8 million people visited an Apple Store during the September quarter, and some 50 million people visiting during all of fiscal 2005. That translates into 9,800 visitors per store per week throughout the September quarter.

"We couldnit be happier with the performance of our retail stores, not only in the quarter but for the year as well," Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said during Tuesdayis analyst conference call.

For the year, Apple did $2.35 billion in sales at its retail stores, and claimed $151 million in direct operating profits from its stores.

The company added 14 new store locations throughout the September quarter, bringing the total number of stores up to 124. Mr. Oppenheimer said that his company plans on opening an additional 35-40 retail stores during fiscal 2006, including a new major retail presence in New Yorkis famous 5th Avenue shopping district. The company hopes to have that store open by the end of fiscal 2006.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.  

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