The Beach Boys were blasting before Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage for his keynote address today at Macworld New York.
Jobs first talked of Apple’s retail strategy. The first two — at Tysons Corner in McLean, VA, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, CA — have been opened for only eight weeks, but the results have been “terrific,” he said. However, he didn’t give any specifics on sales. Nor did Fred Anderson, Apple’s chief financial officer, during yesterday’s announcement of the company’s latest financial results.
Next month Apple will open stores in Dallas, Texas; Minneapolis, MN; Chicago, IL; and Boston, MA on its way to having 25 open by the end of the year.
“We’ll be opening more next year, but we’ll refine our plans based on how the first stores do,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said during the announcement of the retail stores at a special presentation in Tysons Corner.
Growth is the main reason for this new chapter in Apple history. Jobs said that Apple currently has about five percent of the overall computer market today, or 25 million customers worldwide. That’s not bad, the CEO pointed out, as BWM and Mercedes Benz have, respectively, 1.8 and 2.1 percent of the auto market and they seem to be doing okay. However, Apple doesn’t plan on settling for 5 percent. The retail stores are part of the plan to change that.
Apple’s focus on the Mac as a digital hub for a digital lifestyle is another reason for opening the stores, Jobs said. The stores will give people who might not otherwise have a chance to actually make an iMovie, burn a CD, and get hands on experience with the entire range of Mac products.
The third reason for opening its own stores is to set a “gold standard” for how products should be sold. Jobs said that the Apple stores would offer ideas that other resellers could take and “run with.” And if the resellers have good or better ideas, Apple may incorporate those into its stores, he added. The CEO emphasized that its own stores wouldn’t compete with current resellers.
During his keynote, Jobs also played a video about the opening of the first two Apple retail stores. He said they’re a “great complement” to Apple’s existing line of retailers.