What’s Going on at Apple Stores ?

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I was shopping at my suburban Apple store recently and noticed something odd. There were at least 25 employees standing around waiting for customers. It struck me that employees outnumbered customers by a large margin. I’ve tracked this growing disparity in suburban Apple stores which made we curious about what’s going on with Apple’s retail model.

According Glassdoor to the average hourly rate for a Apple associate is $15. Assuming 25 people on the floor for an 8 hour day the estimated salary costs per month:

25 employees x $15/hr x 8hr/day x 30 days = $90,000/month

Apparently Apple gets a good deal on rent at local shopping malls:

8400 sq/ft x $120 sq/ft = $1,008,000 (or ~$84,000/month)

Just considering salaries and rent at my local store, it costs Apple about $174,000 a month. Apples biggest selling product is the iPhone so the question is how many iPhones a month need to be sold just to cover salaries and rent ?

Apple Revenues by ProductThe iPhone sells for an average of $687 which means at least 253 units a month need to sold to cover rent and salaries, it’s actually more than that if we account for COGS. That equates to an average of about 1 iPhone sold per hour.

Apple gets about 40% gross margin per device so let’s say subtracting COGS the per unit margin is $274. That increases the number of iPhones that need to be sold per month to 635 or about 2.6 per hour. It’s been at least two years since I’ve been in an Apple store and witnessed that many iPhones being purchased.

Has anyone else noticed the disparity between the number of Apple associates and actual customers ?