Greg Guenthner

“I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake…”

That’s a quote from a pessimistic analyst in a Bloomberg Op-Ed dated May 20, 2001 — just one day after Apple opened its first retail locations.

The arguments against brick-and-mortar retail are sound, for the most part. It’s an expensive proposition to open a retail location that could quickly become nothing more than a showroom for Amazon.com. And almost everywhere you look, old-school retailers are getting crushed as consumers opt for the convenience of online purchases.

Yet Apple has proven that if you do it right — and if your product line is good enough — retail can thrive, even in the tech space. Twelve years after its first foray into upscale malls in high-rent districts, Apple’s retail juggernaut brought in the sales. Apple makes roughly $6,050 for every square foot of store space. That’s more than twice high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co.’s $3,017 per square foot, according to consulting firm Retail Sails (via Forbes).

But the billion-dollar question goes to Google:

Can the king of search make retail work?

Google vs. Apple

Google topped $800 for the first time today. Over the past five months, it has separated itself from Apple, helping to lead the Nasdaq higher while Apple steadily slipped. Now rumors are swirling that Google is planning to open stand-alone retail locations — possibly as early as the holiday season.

Google stores could be a boon for the company. It’s already proven it can innovate (working prototypes of Project Glass and self-driving cars come to mind). But if Google can demonstrate the worth of its new innovations at retail locations to an endless supply of potential customers, a new period of growth could be in its future.

Don’t bet against them…

Greg Guenthner
for The Daily Reckoning

Greg Guenthner

Greg Guenthner, CMT, is the managing editor of The Rude Awakening. Greg is a member of the Market Technicians Association and holds the Chartered Market Technician designation.

Recent Articles

Addison Wiggin
A Short History of Speculative Excesses and Wealth Preservation

Addison Wiggin

For of all John Law’s faults, he at least understood that he who holds hard assets wins the day. Addison took the liberty of grafting supporting evidence together from his book with Bill Bonner, Financial Reckoning Day. Read on to see how originators of some of the worst ideas can give us some good ones too...


Greeks Turn to Gold on Bank Bail-in and Drachma Risks

Mark Obyrne

The Greek stock market is down 36% year to date; the risk of global contagion in the event of a Greek exit is very real. Ordinarily such a crisis would require a massive coordinated effort from global stakeholders, perhaps directed by the IMF or some other pan-national financial body. But not in this case. Mark O’Byrne has the full story…


The Market’s An Emotional Wreck –Now What?

Greg Guenthner

Remember, the great commodity boom took more than a decade to play out. Prices skyrocketed across the board. But what goes up must eventually come down. Gold and silver lost their wings in 2013. Copper went into a death spiral late last year. And I don't have to tell you what's happened with oil over the past six months...