Apple’s Retail Footprint Has Grown Nearly 50 Percent Since 2011

At the start of Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) smart watch + MacBook unveil event today, CEO Tim Cook gave a quick overview of his company’s retail footprint.

Here’s the key facts:

  • 120 million customer visits of Apple stores in holiday quarter 2014
  • 453 total stores
  • China
    • First store opened in 2008
    • 21 stores (currently)
    • 40 by the end of 2016

Apple’s retail footprint has grown roughly 50 percent since 2011, when it stretched just over 300 stores [source].  China has been one of the biggest growth sites, and Cook’s comments make it clear that Apple is focused on the world’s largest electronics market.

He commented, “We are really proud to have this fantastic new home in China… We’ve got a few more reasons for you to visit those stores today.”

Apple’s store in Shanghai is a centerpiece of its growing retail presence in Asia’ largest market.
[Image Source: Roy Zipstein]
Apple’s retail footprint is rather unique and unprecedented in the OEM space, although Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) both have similar store efforts in progress, as well.  Some Apple Stores have caused heaches both due to rising employee wage demands (particularly from its “Geniuses”) and from architectural issues stemming from its ambitious building designs.