Call it the luxury, or rainmaker, affect.
Apple users head to their local mall's Apple Store, owned by Apple Inc. (AAPL) , with their iPhone or laptop in tow for service or to take a course.
Then while waiting for repairs or on the way in or out of the mall, they may stop at a Nordstrom (JWN) and drop $300 on a shirt or look at a loveseat at a Brookstone for about $200.
The mall trip could also mean picking up makeup at MAC, owned by Estee Lauder Companies Inc (EL) , or maybe even dinner at P.F. Chang's. $Ka-ching, $ka-ching, $ka-ching.
Apple Stores turn out to be very good neighbors, and have become the new mall anchor store, a role once held by department stores, because they draw lots of foot traffic, which also benefits the smaller stores.
In the U.S., there are roughly about 140 million customers with iPhones, estimated Gene Munster, a partner in Loup Ventures in an interview with TheStreet, and those millions usually need to go to a bricks-and-mortar store for service.
"An Apple Store in a mall is equivalent to staying alive at a mall," Munster said.
- Amazon Could Have Gone on a Retail Shopping Spree Instead of Buying Whole Foods
- 5 Of The Most Insane Luxury Items Available At Costco
- Ask Actionable Questions, says Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jenny Fleiss
- What Does Alibaba Actually Do?
Apple, which did not respond to a request for comment, has about 270 stores in the United States. Its mall-based stores are in high-end shopping centers owned by companies like Westfield Corp. (WFD) , which has Apple Stores at 17 of its U.S. malls, and Simon Properties (SPG) , which has an Apple Store at the fortress mall Roosevelt Field in East Garden City, N.Y.
"Apple Stores are a landlord's dream tenant," said Robin Abrams, a commercial real estate executive in New York City. "It's guaranteed that Apple is going to bring traffic."
The presence of an Apple Store in a mall also increases the value of a mall and allows mall owners to raise square-footage rates for other tenants. Abrams said hedge funds evaluating malls will factor in whether or not one has an Apple Store on location. If it does, the hedge fund gives the shopping center a higher valuation.
Because of such benefits to the mall, owners will also do a lot to accommodate an Apple Store, such as shouldering the costs of the store's build-out and giving months of free rent.
"Apple Stores do add value and they do merit extra incentives" added Abrams, "because the landlord can leverage the Apple tenancy to improve the mall value."