Apple Stores are no longer the star of the American mall; top mall operator says slowdown at Apple Stores is drag on overall sales growth

“The Apple Store might be losing its place as the king of the American mall, at least according to a mall operator whose properties — including many of the country’s top shopping destinations — house 46 of Apple’s 268 U.S. stores,” Sapna Maheshwari reports for BuzzFeed News. “‘We experienced sales increases throughout the country,’ General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani said on an earnings call today. ‘Nearly every major retail category was up, with the exception of electronics, primarily due to Apple.'”

“GGP said that sales at its tenants with stores smaller than 10,000 square feet — a metric that strips out department stores — grew by 3% to $588 per square foot over the last year,” Maheshwari reports. “Excluding Apple, sales for that group grew by 4.5%, Mathrani said on the call.”

“GGP earlier noted a slight gap between Apple’s growth and the rest of its portfolio last August, when Mathrani said tenant sales excluding anchors rose 3.4% to $20.5 billion in the previous 12 months, and 3.9% without Apple,” Maheshwari reports. “Mathrani said at the time its sales were strong “even being affected by slower Apple growth” and “negative growth in tourist markets.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, how high were Apple Retail Stores to begin with? Growth rates without that information are meaningless. It’s like saying iPhone sales growth has slowed. Yes, it has: From all-time record sales to slightly higher all-time record sales, thanks.

If Sandeep thinks this is a winning negotiating tactic, he’s likely to be sadly mistaken.

Apple Retail Stores are ranked as the best performing U.S. retailer per square foot by far. Period.

Apple averages more sales per square foot than any other U.S. retailer – May 16, 2014
Apple jumps in e-commerce rankings, now second largest online retailer – May 6, 2014


  1. Hard to know what to make of this. Apple could still be the most valuable retail store in GGP’s malls, but just not growing as fast as they used to. We’re looking at just one cell’s data on a spread sheet. What’s the point of this report anyway? Mall stores are just a small subset of Apple Stores.

    1. When are you folks going to let the magic word sink in. Whether its stocks or malls… IT’S ALL ABOUT GROWTH.

      G R O W T H. G R O W T H.

      I try to be polite about Cook, but the Cook administration has piloted the vessel into a shallow canal with a dead end. They’re going to have to back up, see where they made their mistake and take a different route.

      This is not to say the ship won’t be one big party in the spot that it’s sitting for quite some time, it’s just that over time, the passengers (and crew) vacate and look for a ship that’s going somewhere.

      The funny thing is, there is potential for growth, IMHO, in products to all those people who don’t use Apple’s products, but Apple must seriously figure out why, address that, and hit their competitors head on.

      In a down economy, no one is going to care about all this lifestyle crap. People are worried about preserving the lifestyle, not living it. I don’t want to know how much happier Apple products make me, I want to know how much better than the other guy they make me.

      1. What type of growth are you talking about. Profit, revenue, margins, units sold.

        The market is obsessed by revenue and units sold. Profit and margins are what really matter.

        Companies that chase market share end up losing out.

        Apple know this and achieve a high share of profit by making great products. They are not going to change because they know it will not work.

      2. Zits are all about growth.

        Growth is BS nonsense. It should be about sustainability. Just how far should a company grow? Should Apple grow so big that all other companies suffocate in its wake. Given constant growth and enough time, there is no room for competition. At some point competition is not a factor.

        Growth has to stop.

        As for this article, it’s lies by omission. It’s intent is to hammer on Apple as click-bate.

      3. You say you bought an iPad Pro, if that’s true, that speaks to your intellect (mostly lack thereof).

        Quit pushing it dude, you sound like a joke!

    2. * A $3000 iMac with a platter hard disk drive from 20 years ago.

      * A laptop with a processor slower than one found in an iPhone 5, but priced like a Macbook Pro, with a bonus feature… one f*ucking port!

      * A giant iPad that’s almost doubled in price over a 9.7-inch iPad, but does virtually the same thing, aside from a hokey pencil add-on that’s not even included in the ridiculous price.

      * A Professional Mac that can easily cost $12,000 that can’t even be upgraded.

      * An ATV 4 that loses all the features of the prior version, still doesn’t support 4K, yet somehow costs more than anything from the competition.

      * Pricey computers and laptops that prematurely lose their screen laminate.

      * An iPhone 6S that gives us iPhone 6 users not one solitary reason to upgrade!

      And we wonder why Apple stores are losing traffic?


    3. And pay no attention to the fact that retail is closing up shop all across America and laying off thousands of employees.

      So blame Apple for the loss in revenues and not the nearly 100 million who are out of work.

      1. It’s all good, I’ve turned off Shopify payments and turned on PayPal Pro payments. We’re 100% unaffected, and just waiting to see if we now qualify for a 20% discount on our overall fee, as indicated on Shopifys website.



        Daniel W. Millar, ACSP


  2. I must say I don’t enjoy going to Apple Store now. The disappointment started soon after SJ left the building. I gave it the benefit of the doubt for years and even went as far as complaining about some of the things I saw and experienced. There comes a time when you just give up and stop going.

  3. I avoid the local Apple Store. Too crowded, too noisy, employees too snotty.

    Walking in and buying a cord is a ridiculous process since many of the cords are kept in the back of the house. Trying to buy hardware is almost as bad.

    Walked in to buy an Apple Watch, was told I needed an appointment and they were booked. I drove across the street and bought one at Target.

    I walked in to buy an iPad pro. Spent 10 minutes waiting for the person to come over, they explained (poorly) what it does, I explained what I needed. was all set to buy it and then the guy says there is no pencil available (at that time 5 weeks).

    Apple used to provide service better than anyone, now they don’t.

    I avoid the Apple Store.

      1. Yes, and the only reason it’s crowded is because a lot of people are buying a lot of stuff – recipe for buy stuff. Microsoft stores will be around long after Apple finally realizes their mistake, they know the secret of operating with very few customers who rarely buy anything! Apple Retail is doomed, Angela Ahrendts did it and Tim Cook is too gay.

        Seriously? Okay. /s

        Did I really have to say that?



  4. The last time I was in an Apple store was to look at the watch. I have not been in since and had not been for over a year before that. It is just not the same experience as before. Service is not as good and wait times are just too long. I had an appointment to try on the watch. I had to wait over 15 minutes from my appointment time. Then the part about not being able to try the watches on with out the employee just turned me off.

    Sales at the store are probably off because of the way they are handling the sale of new products. You use to go to the store to wait in line for the new iPhone. It was an experience, but not anymore.

    I love Apple products and have been an Apple shareholder for a long time. To me things are just not the same. I am still holding but something has got to change. (IMHO)

  5. Well, all the naysayers notwithstanding, there’s an Apple Store in my local mall, where I catch the transit, so I go into the mall most days, and probably drop by the Apple Store at least once a week, if only to see if they have any new merch in the back. It’s always busy, the staff are friendly, and the buying process – if you have the Apple Store app – is seamless and fast.

    For comparison, another mall in town has a (busy, friendly, etc. etc.) Apple Store and a Microsoft store (and a Samsung outlet, amazingly enough). I don’t get to that mall very often, but I have never seen the MS store with more customers than staff, not even around Christmas.

  6. Maybe if the ditched the suburban mall altogether, and just stay in urban retail areas, then maybe they wouldn’t have this problem. You all need to understand that the urban areas are more profitable than suburbs and small towns because the money is there. Besides, those from the ‘burbs probably won’t appreciate an Apple product, so it’s best that they stick with Android/Windoze. If they do, then a 2 hour trip into town wouldn’t kill ’em.

    1. “You all need to understand that the urban areas are more profitable than suburbs and small towns because the money is there. ”

      Let’s think this through: Apple product pricing is not variable in US Stores: an Apple Watch costs the same in urban areas as it does in the suburbs. The biggest variability would be in cost-of-sales, most notably in cost/ft of retail space – where you’ll generally (but not always) find higher in the “urban areas” of a given city than in its suburban areas. That means, if anything, profits for a given item in suburban area retail are slightly higher than their urban counterpart.

      “Besides, those from the ‘burbs probably won’t appreciate an Apple product,…”

      Not sure where you’re from, but you need to get out more.

  7. Honestly, based on what I’ve seen at the Apple Stores I’ve been too recently, I don’t see how it’s possible for them to grow unless they build bigger stores. Once you’re “packed”, you can’t really get “more packed”.

    But whatever media. Pile on. Apple is doomed. We’ve heard it before and we know we’ll never stop hearing it.


  8. I recently bought an iPad Air and was pleased to find that I could now do that over the Internet and pick it up, when ready, at a convenient Apple store. That store pickup would not count as a store sale, maybe that is a factor.

  9. My local Apple Store in Newcastle, UK is wonderful and have always gone the extra mile.

    Case in point: I was having problems with my Late 2012 Mac mini: took it back under warranty. A few days later, I got a call from them saying they were having problems working out what exactly was wrong and offered me a 2014 model as a substitute. Since I had a top of the line quad-core i7, I was unhappy going down to a dual-core, and I said so. They then said they would order all the parts in to do a full replacement.

    A few days later I;m told it was ready, so I go and pick it up. Upon trying to restore from one of my two backups, I had problems with both the Magic Mouse and my trackpad not responding. Diagnosing a disconnected antenna myself, I booked it in the next day for a look-see. I turn up and the Genius whips it out the back (fortunately there was an engineer on the premises), and two minutes later I had the senior tech out. He told me I was entirely correct in my diagnosis, apologised profusely for missing out the fact the the antenna was not properly connected (that doesn’t show up on a diagnostics scan), and then told me the following. My mini was demonstrating behaviour they’d never seen before—it refused to boot off the internal Fusion drive if there was no other drive connected. Since I had a minimum of eight drives plugged in at all times, I never saw that particular problem.

    Now it gets weird: the senior tech—himself a Cisco veteran—said that the tech staff were so flummoxed at the apparently intractable problem, and got so frustrated, that they cleared out everyone from the workshop and left my computer on the bench powered up…with an album of whale song playing to create a calm and happy atmosphere.

    I. Shit. You. Not!

    (Computer runs like a champ, now!)


  10. The last 3 times I have been in an Apple Store (all 3 times for a Genius Bar appointment) – the Genius Bar was packed with people waiting all over the place for their turn. In contrast, the “Sales Floor” had 6 associates and 0 customers!

    Apple has pushed so much of their sales out to their website, they’re almost discouraging people to come into the store – except for a Genius Bar appointment or to pick up an online order.

    I can’t remember the last time I went to an Apple Store to buy something other than an accessory or an gift card …

  11. For football fans, I noticed that the Raiders had a +133% in the number of regular season wins compared to last year, while the Broncos had +0%. Maybe Sandeep should make a big bet on the Raiders winning the Super Bowl this weekend.

    1. Really? A “slight decline over the last few years?” All while Apple has more than DOUBLED REVENUES?

      Why, oh why, do I just not believe this little anecdote?

      Why would I not believe someone who claims “We all expected it at the store at the expert level.” Could it be because overtime I have been in an Apple retail store, or even passed on in a mall, they are packed full of people. That doesn’t look at all like “traffic down.” When I’ve been in one, I’ve seen people walking out with Apple bags and also buying Apple products. That doesn’t look like “sales down.” The financial figures as reported on Apple’s 10K over the “last few years” show growing sales of iPhones and Mac computers, if not iPads, but also this past year, Apple Watches. That also doesn’t reek of any “slight decline” in sales.

      You just reek of the classic troll, making things up, trying to give yourself some credibility by claiming authority by having worked at an Apple store in the past. Uh uh. Nope, no way.

  12. After several years of experience with waiting on lines to get iPhones, I’ve learned to just order online to avoid the chaos. I believe even Angela Ahrendts recommends customers order from the Apple Store online.

    This doesn’t mean Apple is losing any sales, it’s just been diverted from an Apple retail store to the Apple Store online.

  13. Tim Cook did nothing but praise Angela and he Apple Store had a record quarter last quarter. The dots aren’t connecting here. There may be 40 malls where Americans aren’t doing as well as in the other 200+.

    1. I have nothing but contempt for the changes Angela and her predecessor brought to the Apple Store. If Tim is publicly praising the empty-headed bitch, then that shows how out of touch Cook is.

      Apple Stores used to have something more than novelty — they were learning experiences, with professional sales associates and experts who went out of their way to ensure you walked out the door with KNOWLEDGE you didn’t have before. Whether you bought anything or not, that wasn’t even the main goal. Apple was there to make people happy. Today the exact opposite is in effect. Slobby teens in blue tshirts and more body art than brains act like their job is to make sure you wait for an appointment. Other than the inflated prices, Apple Stores are more like Walmart stores than ever before, and that is not a good trend.

  14. It always kind of amazed me that so many people went to Apple Stores or at the least needed to spend a lot of time in them. Not because they weren’t good but because in this day and age who needs to go to actual stores? Maybe for service, or just to make a final decision, but I do my homework before hand. I try to spend as little time in physical stores of any kind, that malls still exist is kind of amazing to me.

  15. The problem is that these comments from the mall operator only focus on the latest growth rate.

    I guarantee you that the Apple stores in his malls have far and away the best dollars per square foot. And the Apple stores bring much needed traffic to those malls and increase the sales of everyone else.

    Only taking into account growth without looking at profits and actual sales is stupid. Under this line of reasoning the mall would rather have a store that sold $1 the first year but increased that to $2 the next year. 100 percent growth! Far better than a store grossing millions.

  16. Hmmmm. The article says that stores with fewer than $10,000 square feet, not counting Apple stores, grew by 3% per square foot to $588 per square foot, but they would have grown by 4.5% excluding Apple. Strange, he’s saying that Apple’s revenues SHRANK per square footage there by pulling everyone else’s percentage down by 1.5%! Now, either there is a great drop in American Apple Store sales at his malls, or there is something else going on here at stores that generally gross over $4000 per square foot in revenues.

    One thing I have noticed recently in a lot of malls is that Apple has moved. They have moved from a small store to one with about TWICE the square footage they had before the move. This cannot help but have a severe impact on the sales per square footage of their store because they will NOT instantaneously also DOUBLE their sales merely because they moved several store-fronts in the same mall! Apple moved because the pressures of too many customers for the square footage they had was overwhelming the space they had been occupying was putting too much strain on the space, their employees, and was starting to limit the ability to grow sales. In other words it takes time to grow BACK to the level of sales per square foot they were reporting BEFORE the move.

    In California, I’ve been in at least four malls where the Mall’s Apple store had moved into bigger digs in the same mall, mostly within the past year. Doubling the store’s size without doubling sales would halve the per square foot sales figures. That would drop the entire mall’s average per square foot dollar sales in one swell foop. I would far more suspect these moves from storefront to storefront is the cause of a lower per square foot revenue statistic, than lower overall revenues per store.

  17. I had the opportunity to visit a number of high end shopping malls in a number of cities during the Christmas Shopping season- all of which had Apple Stores and they seemed to be the only things doing much business excepting places to eat. Most had full parking lots but not a lot of buying.

    The Apple Stores were all full- as usual.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.