Analyst sees 600 Apple Stores open worldwide by 2023
A note written by Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster to his clients forecasts that by 2023, Apple will have 600 Apple Stores open worldwide. Currently, there are 511 Apple Stores open for business. Munster says that the stores give the company what he calls "an underappreciated competitive advantage" thanks to the 65,000 retail employees who get to spread the Apple doctrine to consumers face-to-face. Microsoft has the next largest number of retail employees with 6,000.
Munster says that the two countries that will experience the biggest growth in Apple Stores over the next five years will be China and India. The former currently has 50 locations, and the analyst expects the first Indian Apple Store to open within six months. With that growth, the number of Apple Store employees is expected to hit 80,000 by 2023.
Munster writes that the Apple Stores are an outlet that allows Apple to show off the "quality, design, experience, inspiration, ease of use, and privacy of its devices." The analyst says that each Apple Store has five layers that include:
- Aesthetics-All Apple Stores have glass doors, symmetrical design and are free of clutter. They are well-lit and clean.
- Greeting and checkout-Visitors are greeted to make them feel welcome and to point them to someone who can help them with a problem or request.
- Advice-Since Apple Store employees are not paid commissions, they are likely to tell you that an accessory is cheaper on Amazon, or that clear packing tape works well on a cracked iPhone display.
- Support-Loup Ventures estimates that 75% of problems requiring a trip to the Apple Store can be solved with a single visit to the Genius Bar. When a device needs to be shipped for repair, it is often returned well ahead of estimates.
- Inspiration-Apple has been turning their stores into places where consumers are taught how to take advantage of the many features found on Apple's devices. Photo Walks, Kids Hour, and Music Lab are some of the workshops offered at Apple Stores.