Apple's retail stores have attracted renewed interest, this time from US consumer electronics (CE) retail sales tracking firm TWICE.

The research group released its latest TWICE Top 100 consumer electronic retailers rankings yesterday. These figures reveal a 6.2 per cent year-on-year increase in CE sales in the US, with retailers pulling in $101.4 billion in electronics related revenue for the year.

This is the first time Apple has qualified to be ranked in the lists, marking the launch of its retail store chain. It also marks the company's move to stock non-computer products, such as digital cameras and MP3 players within its stores.

The company saw retail sales surge 471.6 per cent, driven by a slight upturn in the PC industry, successful product launches and increasing its store count to 51 units. It shot in at number 34 in the listings, with $383 million in sales volume.

Mass-market retailer Dell also entered the list for the first time, as did ailing former PC giant, Gateway. With $5.3 billion in CE sales, Dell shot into fourth place, behind Circuit City. Gateway's $2.1 billion in sales placed that company in 13th place – though its stores saw a 30 per cent year-on-year drop in revenue, resulting in store closures, job cuts and strategy changes.