WOW Apple and retail!!

A report just came out comparing the Apple stores retail sales to the top twenty best national retailers in the US. The results are astounding. The Apple stores are averaging over $5600 in sales per square foot. This compares to the average of $330 for all mall stores and $790 for the top twenty national retailers. Tiffany’s is second with about $3000 per square foot, which makes the Apple number even more impressive.

I did a quick calculation in a local mall that has an Apple store. The Apple store is approximately 5500 square feet and based on the $5600 per square foot sales average the store has  annual sales of $30,800,000. One the major tenants of the mall a national department store occupies approximately 40,000 square feet and based on the $790 per square foot average  that  does $31,600,000 annually. In one eighth the space the Apple store does about the same volume which is mind-boggling. 

Apple has a unique relationship with their customers, it’s almost cultish. People queue all night to be the first the first to get a new iphone or ipad.  There is no other retailer that has this devotion to its’ brand. So what are the takeaways for the average retailer.

When you visit an Apple store the first thing you notice there is no traditional checkout. They salespeople are all untethered and circulate around the store answering questions and helping people. The average retailer should recognize that tablet computers are about to become an integral part of the retail landscape. Nordstrom is launching a tablet application for their sales associates as are other upscale retailers. The challenge is to figure out how to integrate tablet computers into the mix. An application one of my clients is about to launch by mounting tablets on their shopping carts with scanners attached. The customer can scan products as they shop, look up product and download recipe information. Once they have completed their shopping the order is sent to a POS station where the customer can pay for the sale. Apple redefined the customer experience and no one can deny its working.   I have a furniture store client that wants to utilize tablets. The customer will be able to enter the demensons of their room select the color and model of a particular piece  and place it the room and move it around nad change the color. Don’t ignore tablets as the next step in customer engagement in retail. I’ve just begun to see the countless scenarios where tablets will work. Please let me know any ideas or thoughts you have on tablets might in your store. In sure this is a topic that I will update as more stores embrace the technology.