They’re sleek, stylish and iconic in their own right, not to mention places that a lot of us spend a ridiculous amount of time. Considering just how much we love Apple Stores, do you ever find yourself wondering why Apple’s competitors haven’t followed suit and set up a number of Google stores, or Microsoft stores, or whoever stores, all across the world? The answer may be the cost.
At the Asymco blog, Horace Dedlu decided to look into how much each Apple Store costs Apple. Beginning by noting that the company’s balance sheet has a listing for “Leasehold Improvements” worth over $2.3 billion, Dedlu goes on to deduce the average amount Apple spends in opening each new store: somewhere between $8.5 and $10 million.
That figure, high as it may seem, is just for the cost of preparing the building; as Dedlu writes, “This figure does not include the lease itself, the cost to operate (including the tens of thousands of employees) or the inventory within. It also does not include the value of choosing the right locations (though maybe a follower could simply choose to locate in the near proximity to an Apple store).”
Given the prohibitive pricing, not to mention the possibility for failure—how many other brands really have the loyalty that Apple does, after all, and are people really into Android or Google enough to support something like a Google Store?—it’s no wonder that Apple’s store network stands alone for now.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.