Writing for eWeek , Daniel Drew Turner outlined some of the challenges and rewards Apple is likely to encounter with its new chain of retail stores. Turner’s comments come in a new article entitled Analysts see hope, struggle for Apple stores.
The analysis is based on a recent report produced by IDC researchers Anthony Penzarella and Mark O’Donnell. Penzarella noted that Apple competitor Gateway — which has its own chain of retail stores — has run into problems with a softening consumer PC market and weakened demand for its products. Unlike Gateway, however, Apple employs “non-traditional sales tactics,” such as showing off Macs working with video cameras, MP3 players and other peripherals to demonstrate the Mac’s vaunted hardware integration.
Penzarella also remarked that Macs are likely to be maintained better in Apple Stores than they have been in other retail environments, which is destined to work out in their favor and make a better impression on consumers. The shoddy presentation of Macs at retailers and superstores has long been a thorn in the side of Mac enthusiasts.
Apple’s financial success with its already opened two retail stores probably won’t be known in any significant detail until the company’s next quarterly earnings report — so far, all the company has said was that it grossed $599,000 at the Glendale, Calif. and Tyson’s Corner, Va. location its opening weekend. O’Donnell noted that Apple will likely need to maintain a 25 percent gross margin at each of its stores in order to be profitable.
More of the analysts’ comments are available in the eWeek report.