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ATPM 17.09
September 2011





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The iPad Chronicles

by Robert Paul Leitao,

A Hometown Apple Store

Santa Clarita, California is a classic example of an American boomburb, and it’s a city that has come into its own over the past twenty years amidst the continuing growth and population migration in Southern California. Santa Clarita is situated about 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles and north of the terminuses of the three-digit numbered highways that carry traffic through and around America’s second largest city.

Although Santa Clarita has grown dramatically over the past couple of decades, residents can still hear the sounds of freight trains as they ramble their way across what was once a remote and semi-arid scape. In a bygone era, the area served as the location for many Hollywood westerns.

The City of Santa Clarita

Incorporated in 1987, the City of Santa Clarita has an estimated population of 176,971 and is home to the world renowned CalArts, the burgeoning College of the Canyons, and is near the popular Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor amusement parks. The city is now the site for a new Apple retail store that recently opened at the Valencia Town Center. A home town Apple store is one more indication that Santa Clarita has not only come into its own, but the city has also come of age.


COC Performing Arts Center

Apple Retail Stores

At my last count there were 50 Apple retail stores in California, representing about 15% of the total in the company’s global chain. No matter the fact that there are a couple of dozen Apple retail stores within a two-hour drive from the city, having a store within a 20-minute drive of most residents of the Santa Clarita Valley will be a boost to Mac and iPad sales in the local area.

I shop at Apple retail stores the way others might shop at home improvement stores. There’s often something new to see, and there’s usually something for which I’d like to save to buy.

Just over ten years ago I stood in line to visit the original Glendale, California retail store on its opening day. It was the second Apple retail store to open, and followed the first retail store opening in the Tysons Corner, Virginia by three hours. From that day to this day, about 340 Apple retail stores have opened around the world.


Apple Retail Store at the Valencia Town Center

In the most recent fiscal year, Apple retail stores generated revenue of $14.109 billion and represented about 14.1% of the $100.322 billion in revenue the company reported during that time. Over this 12-month period, the retail stores sold 3.29 million Macs, or more than 21% of the company’s total Mac unit sales of $15.407 million units.

In the past holiday quarter, the busiest time of the year for the Apple retail stores, revenue averaged over $12 million per store and the margin generated by the stores exceeded $1 billion. These stores create local jobs, generate local tax revenue, and increase customer traffic to the shopping centers in which many of the stores are located.

Apple’s retail stores are at the epicenter of the Apple product mutual halo effect. Management has stated repeatedly that 50% of Mac buyers at the retail stores are new to the platform. The Apple retail stores sell Macs, and the iPad is a traffic magnet for the stores.

Apple carefully selects the location for each new Apple store. Proximity to colleges and universities is among the site selection criteria, as well as particular consumer demographics about the local community. The new Apple retail store at the Valencia Town Center is a boost for Apple product users in the area, and I look forward to frequent visits to what’s now my favorite local store.

A City Comes of Age

Santa Clarita is the fourth largest city in the Los Angeles County expanse and is the 24th largest city in the nation’s most populous state. From rural studio back lot to boomburb, Santa Clarita now has a hometown Apple store. It’s a city that has come into its own and it’s a city with a new store for the digital age.

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