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Monday, October 19, 2009, 05:15 pm PT (08:15 pm ET)

Apple Retail Stores achieve highest quarterly revenue ever

New customers and new computers helped drive a record-setting quarter for Apple's Retail Stores, bringing in the company's highest quarterly revenue ever.

With its stores long geared toward "switchers," with attractive layouts, knowledgeable staff, and easily accessible assistance, Apple was able to announce again that half the new Macs sold at the company's stores in the September quarter went to new customers.

Revenue climbed almost nine percent — to $1.87 billion — from $1.72 billion a year ago. The company opened 15 new locations, bumping its international total to 273 storefronts. Apple retail employees welcomed almost 46 million visitors through the doors during the quarter compared to 42.7 million one year ago.

The stores are also highly lucrative. With an average of 262 open during the quarter, average revenue was $7.1 million per store, which Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer noted represents a 20% increase internationally.

This comes after earlier reports predicted that the stores, which had been losing revenue, could rebound before the end of the year.

More stores coming

After opening 26 new stores in the last year and remodeling 72 others, Apple will open its first two stores in France next month. Stateside, another high-profile New York store will open its doors on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Oppenheimer told investors and journalists during Monday's conference call that the company is seeing strong results from its remodeled stores and Apple is focused on providing "the best customer service experience in the industry, bar none."

Apple continues to command respect in the industry for the success of its retail strategy. Microsoft recently attempted to "buy" Apple Store employees as a part of an attempt to enter the retail landscape. Meanwhile, entertainment giant Disney has been leaning on Steve Jobs for help invigorating its existing retail offerings using lessons from Apple's history.