Apple retail stores an 'investment in the future'

Apple retail stores an 'investment in the future'

Though unit sales and revenues were down in Apple Computer's US direct selling retail stores, the company will continue to add more stores and work toward having them break-even by the December quarter, Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson has said.

Why not consider cutting back on store openings given the tough economy? Anderson said that Apple feels the locations of the current and future stores are "awesome." Plus, the roll out of stores is phased and under control, he added. Finally, the stores were close to breaking even in the June quarter when all factors were considered, he added.

"And we feel that our retail stores will contribute to Apple's long-term growth," Anderson said. "Apple is committed to making investments to growing our market share. We didn't have the quarter we expected, but we were still profitable. We're not mortgaging the future in expanding our retail stores, but are laying a groundwork and foundation."

Anderson said that Apple's channel partners and retail stores are reporting lots of Windows users coming into the stores wanting to "switch" to the Mac platform. Evidence also shows that Apple's own retail stores aren't hurting their channel partners, he added.

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