A recent regulatory filing from Apple notes that the company plans to spend approximately US$85 million by the end of 2001 in its efforts to open 25 retail stores. In its quarterly 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple reiterated plans to open more than two dozen stores this year and also suggested that it’ll open additional stores in 2002.
“The Company intends to locate its retail stores in major markets in high traffic locations in shopping malls and urban shopping districts,” said Apple.
And it looks like Apple plans to keep its stores around for a while, too.
“As of June 30, 2001, the Company has entered into operating leases necessary to support its existing retail expansion plans resulting in incremental operating lease commitments of approximately $203 million with terms extending between 5 and 12 years,” said Apple.
According to the filing, Apple expects to break even with its retail efforts in the first quarter of fiscal 2002 — which for Apple is the last three months of this calendar year. Apple hopes to “generate a slight profit” on the stores throughout all of fiscal 2002.
In May, Apple opened its first two stores — one at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, VA. and one at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, CA. Both stores opened to huge crowds of Macintosh enthusiasts who showed up hours early in some cases to witness the new stores’ opening.
The new retail stores represent quite a departure for Apple, which since the 1970’s has relied on a network of authorized dealers, specialists and computer superstores to sell its hardware and software into the retail market. Apple’s retail stores are different from many computer stores because they emphasize what people can do with the technology, rather than the technology itself. Different stations feature Macs that are used to burn MP3s to CD, surf the Web, turn video into iMovies, and more. The stores also feature shelves of Mac-compatible software, hardware and accessories.
Just in the last two weeks, Apple has opened up two more stores — one at the brand new
Willow Bend Mall in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Plano and one at the gargantuan
Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., again both to huge throngs of cheering Mac enthusiasts who stood in line hundreds deep on opening day to gain access to the stores.
Another new store is set to open next weekend at the Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg, Ill. More stores are set to open in other regions throughout the country for the remainder of the year.