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Apple Retail Stores Continue to Buck Economic Sluggishness

Bloomberg reports on Apple's retail store performance amidst the current economic situation, noting that Apple's retail sales have held up remarkably well as other merchants have seen sales slip.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, increased revenue at its stores by 2.5 percent in the first six months of the year to $3 billion as the rest of the retail industry suffered. During the same period, sales at all U.S. retailers fell 9.2 percent compared with the first half of 2008, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

The report focuses on Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City, noting that the store may be the highest-grossing retail outlet in the famed shopping district on a per-square-foot basis.

Apple's Fifth Avenue emporium probably has annual sales of more than $350 million, topping any of the chain's other outlets, said Jeffrey Roseman, executive vice president of real- estate broker Newmark Knight Frank Retail in New York. The location is 10,000 square feet, putting its sales per square foot at a minimum of $35,000, based on Roseman's estimate.

Other high-end retailers noted in the report, such as jewelry shops Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston, are reported to be bringing in closer to $12,000 to $18,000 per square foot annually.

A previous report had pegged Apple's annual sales for its Fifth Avenue store at as much as $440 million, although that number may have been slightly inflated, as it came from the building's owner as it was being marketed for sale.