Apple Store, Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, AZ. Used under Flickr CCLi. Image credit: Flickr user Dru Bloomfield.
One of the most dramatic success stories of the last decades has been the meteoric triumph of Apple’s retail stores. US Apple Stores earn more per square foot than any other retailer.
Ron Johnson–the retail genius behind the success of Apple Stores, worked as an executive at Target for 15 years, before being lured away by Apple’s Steve Jobs in 2000 to head the company’s stores. He was also responsible for the creation of Genius Bars.
In a post at the Harvard Business Review, Johnson–who recently left Apple to become the CEO of JC Penny, writes about what makes the Apple Stores such a huge success.
Johnson explains how in typical Apple fashion, the focus was on the experience, rather than just selling. He writes:
Think about this: Any store has to provide products people want to buy. That’s a given. But if Apple products were the key to the Stores’ success, how do you explain the fact that people flock to the stores to buy Apple products at full price when Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, and Target carry most of them, often discounted in various ways, and Amazon carries them all — and doesn’t charge sales tax!
People come to the Apple Store for the experience — and they’re willing to pay a premium for that.
Johnson also talks about how no one came to Genius Bars at first, but Apple persisted and now Genius Bar is an unqualified success at Apple Stores.
The entire post is well worth reading, here.