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Apple tops in retail per square foot

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 26th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

According to research company RetailSails, Apple is head and shoulders above all other physical, brick-and-mortar stores - per square feet. The company judges the health of a store is annual sales per square foot, and then judged U.S. stores based on this metric.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Perhaps most interesting is the large gap between Apple stores and the rest of the retail spaces. Apple stores average about $5,600 per square foot, which is nearly double than the nearest retailer. Apple is uniquely a leader in technology and innovation, in what is likeliest the strongest brand name in the world.

The Web site 24/7 Wall St. wanted to see if common features could be found among the retailers that managed to get top dollars per square foot. "Branding" is perhaps the biggest common factor because it helps drive able bodies into stores. Stores with low foot traffic find it nearly impossible to have strong sales per square foot.

All of the retailers on the list could be considered luxury goods sellers with the exception of GameStop. Adding to this statistic is the fact that gaming DVDs tend to take up less room on a shelf than flat-screen TVs.

Four of the top companies featured on RetailSails' list are on their 25 fastest-growing retailer list. To make the grade on that list, retailers are ranked based on trailing four quarters sales growth. It could very well be that companies with highly profitable locations have easier access to capital to invest in new locations, which in turn further helps determine future growth. If so, high margins beget greater sales, at least for some period. The data from retailers on this list would help support that theory.

According to RetailSales' list, the top six stores on their list were:

6. GameStop, with sales per square foot at $1,021. The world's largest video game retailer does not have the high growth rates the other five retailers on the list. GameStop does, however, have over 6,600 locations. Analysts say GameStop will have to stay focused as increasing competition tries to move in on that segment.

5. True Religion Apparel, with sales per square foot at $1,096. True Religion Apparel has grown from its 2002 founding into a $420 million global company with distribution in 50 countries. True Religion also sells its products through other major retailers, such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

4. Lululemon Athletica, which enjoys sales per square foot at $1,800. Another relative newcomer to retailing, Lululemon Athletica is a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, which shared its first retail space with a yoga studio. The retailer only has over 150 stores and has opened several a month for the past year, with ample room to grow.

3. Coach, with sales per square foot at $1,824. Best known for its high-end leather handbags, Coach also sells wallets, shoes and novelty accessories. One of the examples of the international growth of Coach is that it has individual e-commerce sites for 21 different countries.

2. Tiffany with s ales per square foot at $3,085. Diamonds are a girl's best friend as well as being small and pricey, so it should come as no surprise to that a luxury jeweler is on a list featuring sales per square feet. In contrast to Apple, which is a relatively new retail brand, Tiffany has been in business since 1837.

And at the top of the least,

1. Apple with sales per square foot at $5,647. Apple is a relative newcomer to the retail scene, with its first store opening in 2001 - but that means relatively little. There are broader signs of Apple's success, such as its global revenue rising 73 percent to $46.3 billion, and its $477 billion market capitalization, which is the highest of any public company in the world.

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