Apple Retail Still Going Strong

Appleis retail presence remained strong through the first fiscal quarter of 2008, and more stores are planned to open during the rest of the year. CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced during the companyis Q1 earnings report that retail sales were up 53 percent year-over-year at US$1.7 billion.

The Cupertino company opened six new stores during the quarter for a total of 204 locations, including the new Manhattan flagship store on West 14th Street. "With an average of 201 stores open during the quarter, average revenue per store was $8.5 million compared to $6.6 million in the year ago quarter," Mr. Oppenheimer said.

Appleis retail stores sold a record 504,000 Macs during the quarter, showing a 64 percent growth rate compared to the same quarter last year. According to Apple, over half of the Macs sold in its stores went to new customers, indicating the company is still growing its new user base.

The brick and mortar stores saw a record breaking 38.4 million visitors during the quarter with an increase of over 10 million customers year-over-year. The company also delivered over 300,000 personal training sessions during the quarter, representing another all time high.

Apple plans to open an additional 35 to 40 stores in fiscal 2008 -- including locations in China. To date, 25 of Appleis retail locations are outside of the United States.

Apple reported $9.6 billion in revenue during its first quarter investor conference call on Tuesday. CEO Steve Jobs added ""Weire thrilled to report our best quarter ever, with the highest revenue and earnings in Appleis history."

Following especially conservative guidance for the second quarter, however, Appleis stock is down significantly.

Apple is currently trading after hours at $139.25, down 16.39 (10.53%).

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