In San Diego, we have three Apple Stores, but many cities and states aren’t quite so lucky. Vermont, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota are a few of the states lacking their own retail store, while many other states have just a single store.
Because Apple tends to build its retail locations in urban hubs, having an Apple Store in a city has become an important status symbol. One city in Utah wanted an Apple Store so badly that they gave the retail giant free rent to build one.
A brand new Apple Store will be coming to the City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City thanks to the sweet deal the city gave Apple – a total of five years of free rent.
Other cities have offered Apple similar deals. The Apple Store in Grand Central station came about because New York’s MTA transit authority gave Apple a deal of $60 per square foot. In comparison, other retailers pay $200 for the same space. Apple was also exempted from the fees that other retail locations have to pay to the city’s subway system.
Apple also made a deal with the Chicago Transit Authority in Chicago, when it opened the Lincoln Park store next to a CTA stop. Apple paid $4 million to renovate the stop, receiving 10 years of free rent plus free advertising space as compensation.
Rent isn’t the only break Apple gets. Cities have also thrown in other incentives and deals on taxes. You might think that other retailers would get upset over Apple’s special treatment, but not so. Apple Stores draw plenty of foot traffic and a more upscale clientele to surrounding shops. In fact, Apple Stores get approximately 22,000 visitors per store per week, which is bound to trickle down to other locations.
That 22,000 visitors per store each week resulted in 71 million customers visiting Apple Stores between January and March of 2012, which is impressive.
Apple currently has 363 stores worldwide, and has plans to open 40 new retail locations over the course of 2012.