When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)originally opened over a decade ago, the company’s management wanted to keep the stores at 6,000 square feet maximum. They saw this size as an ideal size to keep the store simple yet enticing. However, Apple’s exploding popularity has made the company reassess the size of their stores to accommodate crowds of people. The size of stores are now around 8,400 square feet but even that is not holding up to the level of people coming into the stores. According to analyst, Charlie Wolf of Needham & Company, visitors to Apple stores has grown 15.3% annually.
However, the size of the store is not the only thing that was needed to be changed from the original plans. Originally, Apple was going to have 100 stores but the growing demand for their products has made the company open up 363 stores.
The company is now moving to larger locations that will be able to hold more people comfortably. For instance, the company has announced they will be building a larger store in Palo Alto, CA which is said to be aimed at 15,030 square feet.
However, the expansion doesn’t stop there. London’s Convent Garden is getting a 30,000 square foot store, Shanghai will see a 16,000 square foot store in the Pudong district and lastly a 20,000 square foot store in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. These locations will be a huge addition to Apple’s success because not only will they be huge and can accommodate more people but they are in iconic locations.
This is certainly an issue for Apple. You want customers to feel comfortable in your store because they will stay longer and feel less rushed to make decisions. Despite this being an issue, Apple’s expansion program has already shown the company is taking care of the problem and there is nothing to really worry about at this point.
Even though this is an issue, it has great undertones because it proves that Apple’s successes are expanding far beyond what they had originally anticipated.
The bottom line is that Apple’s stores are crowded. Original plans for the Apple stores no longer apply to the business because the popularity of the products is so great. However, the company has responded with four huge, strategic stores that will cover throughout the world. All Apple needs to do now is continue to focus on bringing cutting edge products into the marketplace.