In Pictures: 17 fascinating facts about Apple's retail stores

Everything you need to know about Apple’s retail stores.

  • Apple's branded retail business turns 13 years old this week, and in that time it has expanded at an unparalleled rate. While many industry observers expected Apple's retail effort to fail, the company now boasts hundreds of stores across the globe. Even more impressive is that these stores are money-making machines, generating more revenue on a per-square-foot basis than any other retail chain in the world. In light of the 13th anniversary of Apple retail, we've put together a detailed list highlighting some of the more quirky, interesting, and downright cool facts about Apple retail stores that you may not know.

  • Apple’s Sydney store has tress growing in its ground There is one Apple retail store with trees growing on the inside. That store is located in Sydney, Australia, and the plant species is Ficus.

  • Apple's first two retail stores opened up for business on the same day, May 19, 2001. One was located at the Cysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia, and the other was located in Glendale, California.

  • Apple stores are the most profitable reatil stores on the planet In 2012, Apple generated $5,971 per square foot. This number dipped down to $4,937 per square foot in 2013, but is still higher than the money raked in by the next most profitable retail store, famed jewelry retailer Tiffany and Co.

  • Only six states do not have an Apple store There are six states that currently lack an official Apple retail presence: Montana, Vermont, West Virginia, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming.

  • Apple’s retail presence wasn’t Steve Jobs’s idea The idea for Apple retail stores didn't come from Steve Jobs. Rather, it came from board member Mickey Drexler who, not surprisingly, was a retail veteran after serving as CEO of Gap Inc. The true genius behind the actual rollout, however, was long-time Apple retail executive Ron Johnson.

  • Apple's largest store in the world is in Amsterdam and measures in at approximately 27,000 square feet. Not surprisingly, coming in a close second is Apple's retail store on Regent Street in London.

  • Not surprisingly, the longest genius bar is found in Amsterdam’s Apple store. It measures in at an impressive 82 feet.

  • Steve Jobs abandoned retail layout on first attempt The original planned layout for Apple's retail stores was abandoned at the very last minute, forcing months-long delays. Steve Jobs wasn't happy with the delay, but he acknowledged that Apple had just one chance to get it right. "And it cost us, I don't know, six, nine months. But it was the right decision by a million miles," Jobs would later state.

  • Apple’s growing faster globally than in the U.S. Apple today has about 423 retail stores across the world. While 254 of those are located in the United States, the number of international retail locations continues to expand much faster than in the U.S.

  • The tallest Apple store in the world is the company's Ginza store in Tokyo, Japan, with a whopping three levels of retail alone. It also has a floor dedicated for training rooms.

  • In terms of foot traffic and overall visitors, the busiest Apple stores in the world are in China. The busiest store in particular is Apple's Pundong store in Shanghai, China.

  • Building a retail presence isn't cheap. A build out in a mall may cost about $1.3 million, while an exceptionally high-profile store (i.e in London or New York City) can run as high as $35 million when one factors in building size, rent, renovations, and expensive materials, according to iFoAppleStore.

  • The smallest Apple retail store - more of a mini store, really - is located in the Santa Rosa Plaza in California. It measures in at just 540 square feet.

  • Four Apple stores actually have rooftop gardens, and they're all located in the U.S. Two are located in Chicago while the others are in Boston and Minneapolis.

  • The most expensive Apple store to build was the company's Covent Garden outlet in London. It cost approximately $35 million because the entire space had to be restored from the ground up.

  • On average, Apple retail stores report about 16,600 visitors per week.

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