Gateway retail stores made similar cuts around the 7th (?) year they were in existence.
A year or two later they were closing various stores that were under-performing.
A year after that they started closing all of them.
Before that year was over they sold the company to E-Machines and closed the last of the stores.
Now, I know Gateway was never as relevant to the industry as Apple is now. I also know that at no point were the Gateway stores as successful financially as the Apple stores.
That said, all of us pretty much agree that retail outlets are a dieing breed for a great many types of products. If I were Apple, and maybe I was starting to feel like maybe we had reached the limit of our growth...or that it was going to slow down significantly at least...the first place I might start looking to cut back is the retail stores. A lot of costly overhead in retail that could probably be slowly cut away without affecting the actual sales numbers in any dramatic fashion.