High Apple Store Traffic Distorting Mall Rent, Lifting Mall Sales

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple Stores' ability to generate a high rate of foot traffic in malls is allowing Apple to win "sweetheart deals" from mall operators while increasing mall sales 10%, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

Apple draws so many shoppers that its stores single-handedly lift sales by 10% at the malls in which they operate, according to Green Street Advisors, a real-estate research firm. That gives Apple the clout to negotiate extremely low rents for itself relative to its sales, while creating upward pressure on prices paid by mall neighbors who might not benefit from the traffic.
Mall operators usually strike deals with department stores that allow them to pay low common area fees and almost no rent in exchange for drawing traffic to the mall. Smaller non-department stores generate most of the rental fees collected by mall landlords, paying as much as 15% of their sales a square foot in rent.

Because Apple Stores bring in so much traffic that leads to increased sales in other parts of the mall, Apple has been able to win rental agreements that see it paying as little as 2% of its sales a square foot. Typically, rents paid to mall operators are based on how much the retailer expects to sell, which is influenced by overall mall traffic.

Average-grossing Apple Stores can garner $6,000 in sales a square foot, while higher grossing Apple Stores net $10,000 in sales a square foot, sources tell the WSJ. At 45 enclosed malls, Apple's share of gross sales averaged 14% in 2013, up just over 10% from 2002.

While Apple's success in retail affords it sweetheart deals, it also gains breaks in other forms of payment to mall landlords. For example, some landlords require tenants to pay additional rent if sales exceed a certain trigger. Apple doesn't have to pay that additional rent, while its neighbors do.

Additionally, because of Apple's influence on mall traffic, retailers have begun asking mall landlords to exclude Apple as an example at the negotiating table, largely because its success is an extreme case compared to other non-department store mall retailers.

Article Link: High Apple Store Traffic Distorting Mall Rent, Lifting Mall Sales
 

fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,615
980
Kind of funny how even Apple Stores are gentrifying the malls...

I wonder if this is going to be a factor in the evolution of the Apple Stores. It seems to me that the current retail environment doesn't really work well with how popular Apple has gotten, alongside the addition of things like watches that require a different approach to sales.
 

Cubert

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2005
150
0

solarguy17

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2007
724
174
My recent experience in the Keystone Fashion Mall (north of Indy) is probably somewhat typical and may even start to contribute to Apple waning a bit.

Basically my wife and I had been walking around for a couple of hours and she wanted to rest her feet, so she sat down near the Apple Store and I went in. The store was so broader that I immediately walked out. It was sad, I love tech stores and just playing with the stuff but I didn't want the hassle of fighters my the crowd.

Now a crowd is good, means loads of sales. But it can also mean frustrated customers if you are wanting o buy something.

Now we also stopped at the Microsoft store, they were moderately busy. More customers then employees, maybe 20 people in a store at least twice as big as the Apple Store. But the important part is, the experience was nice. Not to crowded, didn't get bugged by bored employees, and able to look at stuff without feeling like I'm fighting for my life. Now maybe that's a bad thing but Microsoft store experience was better then my Apple Store experience.
 

extricated

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
439
56
Arkansas
Nice.
Anyone else remember the days of non-crowded Apple Stores? I miss that.
Glad they're doing so well, but the crowds at my local store are ridiculous.
 

mac1984user

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
803
355
United Kingdom
Ugh. This is disheartening. If this was any other retailer, people would be decrying the parasitic effects of these kind of sweetheart deals and the impacts they have on small businesses. Because it's Apple, they get a high five? Pay your taxes and your share of the rent and then start talking to us about high margins and increased costs in the international market.
 

MacRazySwe

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
945
657
Ugh. This is disheartening. If this was any other retailer, people would be decrying the parasitic effects of these kind of sweetheart deals and the impacts they have on small businesses. Because it's Apple, they get a high five? Pay your taxes and your share of the rent and then start talking to us about high margins and increased costs in the international market.
While I do see your point, this is nothing new in the retail Real Estate business.

Retail REITs generally have two types of tenants, Anchors and Inline Tenants. Anchors are large stores which take up a disproportionately large share of space in a retail center and draw customers to the center. Typical anchor stores are large easily recognized retail chains, such as the Apple Stores. Anchor stores sign longer term leases, and typically pay lower rents than inline tenants. Inline tenants are smaller tenants which pay higher rental rates and sign shorter leases, and these stores benefit from the foot traffic anchor tenants bring to a retail center and account for the majority of rents at a retail center and thus the NOI of the property owner.

I actually think many smaller firms benefit greatly from being located in the same center as the Apple Stores. If not, they've only signed short-term leases and can usually relocate, unlike the anchor-tenants.
 

ron7624

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2011
2,228
437
Houston, Texas area
Nice.
Anyone else remember the days of non-crowded Apple Stores? I miss that.
Glad they're doing so well, but the crowds at my local store are ridiculous.
My store is packed as well, but I never fail to be greeted, assessed and helped withing the first 3 steps into the store. If I just want to browse, they let me do that too.
Not a bad experience at all imo.
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
I am lucky to live near several Apple stores. Some are in Malls and some are stand-alone stores. For me, the stand-alone stores are way better. As a matter of fact, the last time I visited a mall was years ago. At the stand alone there are still crowd, but they are all there for a reason, where at the malls it seems kids are just hanging out and playing.

Maybe I am just becoming that crabby old man.
 

fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,519
763
(Central) NY State of mind
I took this picture of a Microsoft store about 6 months ago.

Image
Looks like the MS store at Destiny USA pretty much any time unless they're giving something away.

Now that they expanded the Apple store there it's usually pretty easy to stroll in and look at stuff without being elbow to elbow. Back when the original (small) Apple store was there the crowds were so bad, I'd walk over to BestBuy's Apple section (which was usually empty) to be able to actually touch the new Macbooks and iPads.
 
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