Concerns that Apple’s growth is slowing globally were reinforced by a forecast for sales this quarter that may miss analysts’ predictions by as much as $4.9 billion. In China, where Apple has 11 outlets, the company has been criticized in state-run media over the quality of its after-sales service compared to that provided in the U.S.
“Doubling stores over two years is simply not enough,” said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai. “Their sales growth is really collapsing.”
Apple is facing “serious political headwinds” that may make it more difficult to get permits to open new stores, Rein said. Cook’s plan is well off the pace set by former head of retail operations Ron Johnson, who set a target of 25 stores by February 2012.
Apple opened its first Chinese store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district in 2008. Johnson left Apple in 2011 to becomeJ.C. Penney Co. (JCP)’s CEO, a role he was ousted from this month.
China Weekly Hangout
Many foreign firms fail in China. The China Weekly Hangout discussed in January 30, 2013 a range of failures with panelist Richard Brubaker of Collective Responsibility and Andrew Hupert, expert on conflict management in China. Moderation: Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau. Including references to Apple, Mediamarkt, Foxconn and many others.