Black Friday is the time of year when companies try to get in the black, profit side, by offering big sales to get people in the store to spend their hard earned money. Traditionally, Apple offers minimal sales on Black Friday, and this year was no different with $41 off the iPad, $31 off the iPod touch, and $101 off various Mac models. The iPad mini and iPhone 5 didn’t receive any discounts, and yet the various Apple Stores saw huge traffic as always. According to Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray, Apple Store traffic was up 31% over last year, based on his Apple Store study of head counting for eight hours at the Mall of America Apple Store.
To break the traffic down, Apple sold 17.2 items per hour, and in particular 11 iPads per hour. In particular that comes out 6.7 iPads, and 4.3 iPad minis per hour, though combined it is less than the 14.8 last year. The report is just one Apple Store, but is a good comparison year over year. It also seems that the higher visits, but lower sales numbers are attributed to supply constraints on the iPhone 5, iPad mini, and new iMacs. Another example of the Apple Store traffic on Black Friday is seen in the video below.
The main takeaway is that Apple doesn’t need to offer deep discounts to get people in the stores. They continue to offer minimal discounts, and people still come out in droves to Apple Stores to check out the latest gadgets. Apple has done a great job this year of updating their entire line-up throughout the year, and have also updated a majority of it for the Holiday quarter. Apple has built buzz with the iPad mini, iPhone 5, Macbook Pro with retina display, and new iMacs to get people in the doors to look. Once people are at the stores, they’re more likely to buy, and that’s why Apple is so successful on Black Friday.
Apple Stores have also come to so many different locations so that people who go down to a local mall to shop at other retailers can conveniently head to the Apple Store in the same trip. Apple also maintains their prices throughout the year, unlike other companies, so consumers see any discount as a special event. When pricing fluctuates throughout the year, or at a particular time when a certain product goes on sale, then there’s less demand. Apple builds pent-up demand by maintaining the same prices, and the traffic numbers show people are at least interested.
Apple does some of its best business, and some of the best business of any retailer on Black Friday even without any doorbusters. It’s just another reason why Apple is the most valuable company on Earth at the moment.