Apple will show off those new elements Sept. 23 at new stores in Providence, R.I. and Columbia, Md., Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail, told analysts at ThinkEquity Partners' investment conference Wednesday.
That news comes as Dell Inc., which opened its first retail outlet in Dallas last spring, is readying a store in West Nyack, N.Y., to open in 2007.
"This allows them to gain better access to the mainstream consumer market," says Nicole D'Onofrio, an analyst with Current Analysis. "Especially with notebooks, Dell's direct marketing strategy is challenging, because consumers can't touch and feel the systems. Dell is definitely having some challenges in the consumer space, and this will help them with growth."
Both Dell locations are in malls that also have Apple retail stores, but the Palisades Center in West Nyack also has Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA.
If done right, Dell has the potential for a huge hit: For Apple, which opened its first store in 2001, stores bring in more than $2,489 for every square foot--more than eight times the sales per square foot of Target and two-and-a-half times more than Best Buy, says Ted Schadler, vice president of Forrester Research. Apple's stores had a 44 percent same-store sales growth between fiscal 2004 and 2005.