No Escaping Apple’s New Store Design

November 27th, 2007 - 1:36 am ICT by admin  

Apple is gearing up for a boffo year at the cash registers this holiday season. The recent price cuts in the groundbreaking iPhone, the fall release of the innovative iPod touch, a stellar launch for the new Leopard OS, along with renovations of Apple Stores and just-in-time launches of the iPhone in several European countries, Apple is looking forward to a stellar shopping season, despite a dragging economy.

“I believe Apple will have a record-breaking holiday season and we predict they will sell at least 30 million iPods during this quarter,” Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Creative Strategies, said in an e-mail. “We also expect them to have strong sales of iMacs and laptops as more and more consumers discover the ease of use of the Macs, especially for managing digital lifestyles.”

Apple is ready for the holidays with renovations of its 201 stores. The latest changes include the removal of cash registers and the addition of concierges who greet customers as they walk in the door. Employees are equipped with scanners that take credit cards and e-mail receipts to customers.

Stores Have ‘Gravitational Pull’

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reported on Monday that Apple stores exert a “gravitational pull” on shoppers, with 27 percent of people coming within a 25-foot range entering the store. Most people leave without purchasing, but the high interest suggests a serious long-term benefit to Apple, Munster said.

“The important point is this gravitational pull highlights that consumers’ future buying intentions could be shifting to Apple from PCs,” he explained. “If materialized, this shift should benefit Apple in 2008 and 2009.”

Last week, Munster predicted that Apple would sell 24 to 25 million iPods this quarter, up from 21 million iPods a year ago. The analyst had predicted sales of 23.5 million, but based on October sales data from…

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