Some Economics of the Apple Store
Via Marginal Revolution, here’s an interesting story by Horace Dediu on the growth in Apple stores and some explanations.
The total store count went from 172 to 361, more than doubling. But the growth in employment was faster: from about 6400 to 42,200, more than quintupling. This is reflected in the total number of employees per store which increased from 37 in Q1 2007 to 117 in Q1 2012.
Dediu argues this is driven primarily by increased customer traffic:
The visitors per store per quarter increased from 125k in Q1 2007 to 235.5k last quarter. Nearly double the number of visitors in five years. It’s this increased traffic that is closest tied to the increase in employment.
Part of this seems to be marketing (putting a “human face” on the products) but the stores are also very profitable: