Apple Retail Stores – fun facts and maps

28Feb10

You may think Apple stores are everywhere in the United States, but as our chart (below) shows, there are still nine states (plus the District of Columbia) without a single Apple store. California, meanwhile, basks in the sun with a whopping 46 stores – the equivalent of 1 store for every 800,000 citizens.

However, when it comes to the ratio of store to population, Hawaii has more Apple stores than any other place on Earth – with 1 store for every 430,000 inhabitants, that’s nearly twice as many stores compared to California.

Internationally, the United States is still in first place, with 221 stores and 1 store for every 1.4 million inhabitants. This is followed by the United Kingdom  with 26 stores, or 1 for every 2.2 million inhabitants.

China is, of course, dead last – with only 1 store among all 1.3 billion people. However, Apple has recently announced their intention to open 25 stores in China. If they do that, China will still have a store-to-population ratio of 1 store for every 52 million people! Perhaps the 25 are simply the first wave. Interestingly, to have the same ratio of stores-to-population as in the United States, Apple would have to open about 920 stores in that country (not including China’s additional territories of Hong Kong and Macau)! Of course, your average Chinese person isn’t as rich as your average American, at least not yet.

The statistics for Japan are perhaps the most surprising. At one time, Japan was the country with the second highest number of Apple stores – but no longer. While the UK and Canada have seen new stores opening, the number of Japanese stores has remained static for quite some time, currently having just 7. It is widely believed this is due to the slow growth of Apple’s marketshare in Japan, as Japanese people tend to be very loyal to their local brands (a similar situation is said to exist is South Korea, so don’t expect many stores opening there either).

This leaves Japanese Apple customers with very few Apple stores for Mac-related goods and services. To put it into perspective, in Japan there is 1 store for every 17.9 million inhabitants! Two entire regions of Japan, with a combined population of 11 million have no Apple stores at all – and the region of Kanto (the region containing Tokyo) has 1 Apple store for every 21 million inhabitants. Compare that to New York, USA, which has a store for every 1.3 million.

Here are the full details for all the stores worldwide – including the ratios to population:

Apple Retail Stores Around the World

Countries with Apple retail stores (click to enlarge)

Now let’s look at the distribution of Apple stores in the United States and Canada. If you just consider the number of stores in each state, it looks like everywhere outside of California, New York, Texas and Florida is a desert for Apple stores:

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The dark blue indicates more stores, lightest blue the least, and grey none. However, if we look at the ratio of stores-to-population, the picture changes dramatically:

Click for full-size

Darker blue = more stores per person. Thus, according to this map, it’s easy to see that there are effectively as many Apple stores in Colorado as in California. Just as many in Nebraska as in Florida. Just as many in Maine as in Texas. Of course, this hides the fact that less stores = more traveling distance, but when it comes to population served, Apple even has some very rural states well-covered.

We could reasonably guess from this data which states would benefit more from new Apple stores being built (such as Kentucky), and which would not (such as Colorado or Rhode Island).

A similar picture emerges in Canada. First, let’s just look at the number of Apple stores:

Click for full-size

From this map you would imagine that Ontario (the darkest blue province) is the best and most well-served province by Apple, with Quebec not far behind. However, viewing this as a ratio of store-to-population suggests otherwise:

Click for full-size

We can see that, in fact, Ontario is no better served than rural British Columbia, and Quebec is the worst-served province in Canada (apart from those without any Apple stores at all, of course).

Thus, despite Ontario and Quebec having the 1st and 2nd largest number of Apple stores in the country, it would not be surprising if Apple concentrated future store-openings in these two provinces, while ignoring the rest.

Check this blog in the future for more interesting maps all about Apple. Also check out the excellent ifoAppleStore site for more unofficial Apple retail info.

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