Apple Inc COO Tim Cook claimed the Cupertino-based company plans to open about 25 new retail locations during 2009, and about half of those will be outside of the United States. The news came during the company's first quarter earnings report conference call with investors and analysts.
"We plan to open about 25 stores in fiscal '09. About half of those will come internationally. And Ron [Johnson, senior vice president of retail] and his team are continuing to be very selective with real estate and won't take a bad site," he said. "Our stores are amazingly productive and providing outstanding service to our customers."
If Apple does manage to open 25 stores throughout the calendar year, it will push the company's own retail presence up close to around 300 locations.
Apple's retail presence isn't limited, however, to it's own stores. The company also sells its products through Best Buy and Wal-Mart locations, and iPhone partners around the world. In addition to selling Apple's iPod lineup, Wal-Mart added the iPhone to its store shelves at the end of December, adding potentially 4,000 locations where customers can buy the combination iPod and smartphone.
According to Mr. Cook, Apple sold some 515,000 Macs during the quarter, half of which went to first-time buyers. Despite high traffic in Apple's retail locations, average revenue per store was down from US$8.5 million to $7 million. Mr. Cook attributed the drop to what he called the "very difficult retail environment in the U.S."
He added "The environment around us was a bit tough. But the stores performed very, very well."