Some Apple Stores Thriving In The Downturn

Apple doesn't break out revenue by location, but New York City is one place where Apple stores apparently are doing quite well. According to one source quoted in a Monday Bloomberg report, Apple's Fifth Avenue store, a 10,000-square-foot underground location that's open 24 hours a day and features a distinctive glass cube design, could have annual sales exceeding $350 million.

Apple is "thrilled" with how its three Manhattan stores have fared and plans to open a fourth location in the Upper West Side later this year, Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail for Apple, told Bloomberg.

Of course, New York isn't the only place where Apple stores have been packed to the gills with starry-eyed shoppers. Apple stores in total had 38.6 million visitors during the fiscal third quarter that ended in June, compared to 31.7 million visitors in the year-ago quarter, representing an increase of 22 percent.

However, Apple's use of the term 'visitors' reflects the fact that many people go to Apple stores with no intention of buying anything. This could explain why average revenue per Apple store fell during the quarter to $5.9 million, compared to $6.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

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Overall, Apple recognized $1.5 billion of revenue from its retail stores during the quarter, compared to $1.45 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Apple stores are about to get some competition from an unlikely but deep-pocketed source. Microsoft is preparing to open retail stores in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Scottsdale, Ariz., this fall, and company executives have said some of the planned Microsoft retail stores will be right next door to Apple stores.