Apple Stores Defy Recession's Bite on Retailers

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2009 9:03 AM CDT
Customers get assistance purchasing the new Apple iPhone 3G S at the Apple store in San Francisco, Friday, June 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Recession or no recession, customers have kept lining up to buy iPhones and other Apple products, Bloomberg reports. Apple’s store revenues grew 2.5% over the first six months of 2009, even as retail sales overall fell 9.2%. In New York, where boutiques on Fifth Avenue are largely deserted, the Apple store enjoyed a 22% surge in traffic in the second quarter, making it the highest-grossing store on Fifth Avenue, probably the biggest grosser of all time.

The Fifth Avenue store is estimated to pull in annual sales of more than $350 million—the . equivalent of selling a Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan per square foot, Bloomberg notes. The iPhone accounts for a huge chunk of those sales, but analysts say the store has more going for it than a must-have gadget. Apple keeps the store overstaffed, ensuring attentive service. It’s also open 24 hours a day, which an Apple exec says pulls in New York’s late-night denizens.