Apple to open another 30 to 35 retail stores next year

Apple says it plans to open up another 30 to 35 retail stores in the next year, bringing it right in line with its growth during 2012.

The grand opening of Apple’s store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal near the end of 2011.

Apple’s retail empire is still expanding.

The company today said it plans to open another 30 to 35 retail stores during its 2013 fiscal year, which wraps up next September. About three-quarters of those stores would be located outside the United States, the company said.

The mention came inside the company’s annual report, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon. Apple added that it plans to spend about $850 million on the expansion, as well as investment into its current retail infrastructure.

The plans fall in line with Apple’s retail store rollout during 2012, which included the opening of 33 new stores, bringing Apple’s full tally to 390 stores worldwide. Similar to the planned expansion, 28 of those 33 stores were opened up outside the U.S. The year prior, Apple opened up 40 stores.

The company’s operations are under a closer watch given the departure of retail chief John Browett, who Apple this week said no longer works for the company. During Browett’s tenure, reports surfaced that Apple was making cutbacks on staffing, as well as in-store features, prompting speculation that the company’s retail efforts were not as healthy as they once were.

In its annual report, Apple said retail sales grew by $4.7 billion or 33 percent versus the year prior, mainly due to the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, as well as its two latest iPad models. Altogether, sales made at Apple stores made up 12 percent of Apple’s total sales for 2012, down from 13 percent the year before.

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