Though unit sales and revenues were down in Apple’s retail stores, the company will continue to add more stores and work toward having them break-even by the December quarter, Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson said today in a press conference.
Why not consider cutting back on store openings given the tough economy? Anderson said that Apple feels the locations of the current and future stores are “awesome.” Plus, the roll out of stores is phased and under control, he added. Finally, the stores were close to breaking even in the June quarter when all factors were considered, he added.
“And we feel that our retail stores will contribute to Apple’s long-term growth,” Anderson said. “Apple is committed to making investments to growing our market share. We didn’t have the quarter we expected, but we were still profitable. We’re not mortgaging future in expanding our retail stores, but are laying a groundwork and foundation.”
Anderson said that Apple’s channel partners and retail stores are reporting lots of Windows users coming into the stores wanting to “switch” to the Mac platform. Evidence also shows that Apple’s own retail stores aren’t hurting their channel partners, he added.
Anderson said that Apple would end 2002 with about 50 retail stores. Then the company will evaluate how to proceed from there. However, there are still no plans to open Apple retail stores outside the US, he said.