“From the very beginning, Apple’s retail stores were intended to both be a showcase for the company’s products and a place where communities would form,” Gary Allen writes for Forbes. “But until now, we’ve only known about the success of the former goal, and not the latter. ”

“Indeed, the retail stores generated $4 billion in profits on sales of $20.2 billion during fiscal 2013. But how many of the stores’ 395 million visitors during the year were actually paying customers? ” Allen reports. “During an appearance last month at a speaker series organized by Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, former Sr. VP Retail Ron Johnson answered that question, and discussed his early career, the birth of Apple’s retail stores, and his ill-fated time as J.C. Penney’s chief executive.”

“In fact, Johnson revealed for the first time that just one of every 100 visitors to an Apple store makes a purchase. The other 99 are presumably heading to the Genius Bar, checking out new products, retrieving their email, tagging along with friends or relatives, or attending a training session or live music event,” Allen reports. “For those who follow Apple’s financials, that 1:100 ratio is even more amazing. Based on that figure, just 3.95 million visitors were paying customers during fiscal 2013 and, incredibly, their average purchase was $5,114.”

Read more in the full article here.