Are Apple Stores a Retail Utopia?

apple_store2.jpgIs going into an Apple Store like entering some sort of Plesantville where everyone is happy and things are always perfect? The New York Times seems to think so. According to a recent article, customers are enchanted by "relentlessly smiling employees," interesting architecture, and an atmosphere that feels like more of an event than a retail store. While I'm sure that there will be some differing opinions on those points, some of the figures are hard to argue with.

Apparently, 20% of Apple's revenue is derived from its physical stores –which represents a 42% increase over figures from the 4Q of 2006. They also generate sales at a rate of about $US4000 per square foot a year. Just a few of the reasons why their stock is up 135% overall. So, the question is do your experiences visiting or working for Apple stores support these claims and figures? [NYT]

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