Jivaro wrote on Aug 17, 2012, 20:57: 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.
But then where will all of the up-and-coming hipsters go to be "immersed" in the apple retail experience!? Starbucks?
lol..yep. Watch the Apple stores put in a Espresso Bar and make the Apple "Genius" folks offer lattes. Or maybe they will jsut skip that and be like grocery stores...and put the Starbucks in the Apple store.