Apple Inc. has opened lots of stores over the past couple of years, but today's New York City event is a little different than most.
That's because senior vice president Ron Johnson, Apple's retail guru, had some comments to share about the company's upcoming retail plans for 2010.
First of all, new Apple stores will be "slightly larger" in 2010, and that will come as welcome news to Apple shoppers tired of literally rubbing elbows with one another in stores that have been so crowded with significant foot traffic. How significant? Well, keep in mind that Apple retail did $6.6 billion in revenue in 2009, and hosted a staggering 170 million visitors. Not bad for 273 locations around the world. We constantly talk about how "crowded" these stores are, so bigger spaces might alleviate that.
More importantly, Apple now says it will open 40 to 50 new Apple stores this year, compared to earlier estimates of 25 to 50; over half the openings will be international, including locations in the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, China, and Australia. In fact, Apple will be opening its second stores in London, Paris and Shanghai.
Apple's retail strategy has been an absolute boon to the company. So much so that other companies are desperately trying to capture that same kind of lightning in their bottles. Most recently, Microsoft announced its own retail plans, opening its first store in Arizona last month.