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Monday, May 03, 2004, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Apple struggles to achieve CompUSA attach rates

Although Apple Computer's retail initiative remains a young venture, the company is struggling to achieve its goal of selling protection plans to customers at the same rate as CompUSA.

In April, AppleInsider noted that Apple had begun using CompUSA as its measuring stick.

At the close of each sales week, the company compiles and graphs statistics from sales of AppleCare Protection Plans at its retail stores. These results are then compared to protection plan sales figures produced by CompUSA's Apple Solution Consultants (ASCs) over the same periods of time.

According to sources, Apple retail employees have been attaching protection plans to CPU purchases at a rate just below that of CompUSA ASCs, but have yet to meet or surpass them. Still, on any given week Apple retails CPU attach rates fall within 10% of CompUSA's.

During Apple's second fiscal quarter of 2004, Apple retail stores saw an average protection plan attach rate of 58%. This means that over half of the customers who purchased a computer through Apple's retail stores also purchased an AppleCare protection plan for that computer. During the same time period, CompUSA achieved an approximate 64% AppleCare attach rate on sales of Apple computers.

CPU attach rate graph.


While these CPU results are deemed satisfactory, the real reason for the push appears to be AppleCare attach rates on iPod sales. CompUSA ASCs set the bar with an average 30% AppleCare attach rate on iPod sales during Apple's second fiscal quarter, and continued to improve on their performance in the last 8 weeks, raising this figure to almost 36%. Meanwhile, Apple retail employees produced only 9 and 11% attach rates on iPod sales during the same periods of time, respectively.

iPod attach rate graph.


For the week of April 17th, Apple retail stores saw a 57% attach rate on CPU purchases, compared to 63% at CompUSA. During the same week, Apple stores achieved an 11% attach rate on iPod sales, which trailed CompUSA's by 25% (or 36%).

Apple continues to encourage its retail employees to heighten their sales pitch in hopes of achieving at least a 25% attach rate of AppleCare plans on sales of iPods at the company's retail stores.