Apple continues to grow its retail business
It’s a well known fact that e-commerce market growth is partly responsible for the slowdown in the physical retail market. However, this hasn’t impacted the growth in Apple’s (AAPL) retail stores.
During the conference call to announce its earnings, Apple’s management mentioned that the revenue from Apple’s stores increased by 15% from $4.4 billion in fiscal 4Q13 to $5.1 billion in fiscal 4Q14 quarter. Apple opened ten new stores in the last quarter. It ended with 437 stores. 41% of the stores are outside of the U.S.
More importantly, the average revenue per Apple store increased from $10.9 million in fiscal 4Q13 to $11.9 million in 4Q14. It increased at a growth rate of 9%. For other retailers, the impact of e-commerce market growth is clearly visible on their financials.
The comparable sales growth for Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) remained relatively flat in the last quarter—compared to the same quarter last year. This metric actually declined by ~2% for Best Buy (BBY). It increased by ~4% for Costco (COST).
However, Apple has high ambitions to expand its retail business. The company plans to open 25 new stores in fiscal year 2015. About 75% of the stores would be outside of the U.S. Apple specifically mentioned the Greater China market. Apple plans to increase the number of stores in Greater China from 15 today to 40 in the next few years.