How much Apple Store employees are worth to Apple

As you may have heard or read, Apple (s aapl) opened its latest flagship New York City store Friday inside Grand Central Terminal. And you shouldn’t be too surprised to know a lot of people turned out to be the first to shop in the store.

Beyond the mind-boggling number of people that show up for store-related events like this such as the first day of sales for iPhones or iPads, it’s always rather amazing to see the sheer number of employees on hand. The red shirts in the picture taken at the opening on Friday are the employees. And fittingly, on Friday, Horace Dediu at Asymco put together a chart that details how much all those employees make for Apple.

Credit: Fortune/PED

The data has been pulled together by ifoAppleStore, but the calculations are Dediu’s. They show Apple Store revenues over the past decade they’ve been open for business, which helps us more easily visualize some interesting take-aways about how much each Apple Store employee brings in for the company.

Credit: Asymco

So far, through three quarters of 2011, Apple Stores have made $14 billion in revenue and $3.1 billion in profit on 358 stores (not including the just-opened Grand Central Terminal venue) with something north of 30,000 employees.

The chart shows that while the amount of revenue the stores are making in 2011 per visitor has gone up in the last year, the average revenue brought in by each employee has gone down.

According to Dediu, Apple retail outlets last year brought in revenue of $481,000 per employee, but that number has dipped in 2011 to $320,000, but again, it’s not including the last — and likely most important — quarter when holiday shopping gets done.

Meanwhile, he has calculated that the revenue that comes on average when a person steps into an Apple Store is $45, based on the quarter of a billion visitors the stores see every year.

It’s clear it’s not that Apple is making less money in its stores. But it appears Apple is diluting the revenue per employee by opening more stores and hiring more people.

Either way, it’s clear Apple has this retail game down. It may have lost the head architect of its physical stores strategy in Ron Johnson (who left recently to become CEO of JC Penney(s jcp)), but it’s still making improvements, with the EasyCheckout method of purchasing products via an iOS device in store and the new option to pick up online orders in stores shows. And in the other telling sign, after a decade, people will still show up in throngs just to be the first inside a new store.