If you are interested in commercial real estate investing, specifically the retail segment, then take a look at this post on the Apple retail stores. Check out the average sales dollars per square foot. Apple is beating a lot of big name retailers. I also found the idea of building full sized models before launching the first store very interesting.
Two things discussed that I can relate to are the customer’s retail experience and being a destination. If you get a chance to visit a large Apple store in a major city it is well worth a few minutes. Observe how Apple uses the space, the materials used to build the store and the way the staff are presented. I know from personal experience that entering the Apple London store on Regent Street immediately causes you to feel you are not in a normal retail shop. The location is more of a destination for advice, for a shared experience with other customers and to showcase the latest technology. Funny enough many PC users visit the London store to check their email on the Apple demo machines as they are all on the web.
On the other end we have the smaller stores that are commonly in a mall. The compressed space definitely changes the experience but not in a bad way. Just less buzz and clearly no theatre for presentations. More of a traditional mall retail space but still iconic given the way they manage the glass display area at the front of the stores.
Off Topic: In the London store there are power points between ever seat in the theatre so you can surf the web on you portable while charging the battery.
Last Thursday I visited the London store after finishing a MeetUp networking event on the same street. I was curious to see how Apple was presenting the Apple TV product. When the iPhone is launched (US – June 2007; UK 2008) I will need to visit a US Apple store so I can see how that product is presented.
I was using the store as a meeting point as I was meeting the founder of Landmark Property Investments. I will be posting an introduction to Landmark’s investment strategy in the next few weeks.
I am curious what it is like being the landlord when Apple is your tenant. Having worked directly for Steve Jobs in the past I know his company practice is to be pretty demanding about certain things that many companies care little about. If anyone has any information as to Apple retail lease terms and conditions do share.