Microsofties could barely contain their glee when this video made the rounds of the Internet over the weekend. As you can see, it shows a tale of two stores: the Mission Viejo Apple store practically barren while the Microsoft Store in that mall (yes, the one with the dancing employees) is buzzing with activity.
Some of us probably brushed this off as an isolated incident, as Apple really does not have a blockbuster product this holiday season to draw the crazed Black Friday masses in. But according to Piper Jaffray Apple analyst Gene Munster, his research is showing that slowness at Apple Stores may have actually been the norm.
About 8.3 Macs per hour were sold at retail that day at stores visited by Munster’s team, well down from the 13 per hour rate last year. However, it would be fair to note that Best Buy’s Apple “store-within-a-store” has expanded significantly and a few more Apple Stores have opened since last year.
(Some of Apple’s partners were also offering much better discounts on Apple products than the company was, too…)
Before Redmond starts dancing in the streets, take this into account. Analysis of Apple’s online store performance shows 39 percent year over year growth in sales. This outperformed the entire e-commerce sector by three times. Munster says that this online jump should be more than enough to offset any losses at retail.