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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:21 AM   #1
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Apple Retail Making Gift Card and Uniform Changes for Holiday Shopping Season




As is typical for this time of year, Apple is planning to spruce up its retail operations ahead of the end-of-the-year holiday shopping season. This year's changes in the company's retail offering include new colors for store gift cards and holiday-colored shirts for Apple employees, with retail head Angela Ahrendts reportedly introducing these holiday updates in an internal company video.

Anonymous sources claim Apple's new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone. Similar to previous gift cards, these new gift cards can be used in store or online with a value up to $2000. They will debut starting today, November 17.

Other retail changes include the rollout of red holiday t-shirts to replace the traditional blue shirts for employees and the removal of the neck lanyard from the employees' standard retail uniform. The lanyard badge holders are distinctive to Apple and issued to current employees, but without the lanyard there will be more emphasis on employees introducing themselves to customers.

Apple retail stores will also begin servicing Beats Electronics products starting tomorrow, as shown in an internal memo leaked by TechnoBuffalo late last week. Retail sources have confirmed to MacRumors that the leak is genuine and that most service will not take place at stores themselves, but instead be handled through mail-in depot channels. Issues with minor items such as cables, chargers, and cables will be handled in-store.

These small modifications are part of a larger plan by Angela Ahrendts to revamp Apple's retail operations. Apple's recently appointed retail chief reportedly is focusing her efforts on mobile payments, expansion into China, and the customer's Apple Store sales experience.

Article Link: Apple Retail Making Gift Card and Uniform Changes for Holiday Shopping Season
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:24 AM   #2
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I've seen them already before today. They're pretty cool.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:25 AM   #3
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Good deal. What else is new?
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:25 AM   #4
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Anonymous sources claim Apple's new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone.
I wonder if the gift cards will bend!
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:28 AM   #5
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Wonder if they'll be allowed to actually say "Merry Christmas"?
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by nepalisherpa View Post
I wonder if the gift cards will bend!
Don't put it in your pocket
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:30 AM   #7
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How does Apple make their stock photos look so perfect?
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:33 AM   #8
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You buried the lede.

The story here isn't the gift card and t-shirt colors. That's happened before. The story here is dropping the name badges that employees have worn since the first Apple Store opened.

As a visually-oriented person who has a difficult time remembering names when people just say them to me, I don't like this move. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for new employees to learn their co-workers names without them. Not a good sign when execs make changes like this without fully understanding how they'll work out in the real world.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:41 AM   #9
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Bah, humbug!

I'm not a fan of this holiday stuff. I'm already miffed that Starbucks has moved onto their festive red cups already!
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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As a visually-oriented person who has a difficult time remembering names when people just say them to me, I don't like this move. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for new employees to learn their co-workers names without them. Not a good sign when execs make changes like this without fully understanding how they'll work out in the real world.
This times a million. This is a ridiculous move, and I can't believe they even considered it. Name one nationwide retail chain that doesn't require some sort of name tag. It's for a reason.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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'Tis the Season.

I wonder if they'll have a mistletoe.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:44 AM   #12
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Bah, humbug!

I'm not a fan of this holiday stuff. I'm already miffed that Starbucks has moved onto their festive red cups already!
I'm with you
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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Issues with minor items such as cables, chargers, and cables will be handled in-store.
Good to see Apple doubling down on cables. And cables.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:49 AM   #14
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Good to see Apple doubling down on cables. And cables.
You should bold both instances to make your point better.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by seinman View Post
This times a million. This is a ridiculous move, and I can't believe they even considered it. Name one nationwide retail chain that doesn't require some sort of name tag. It's for a reason.
Lol If the Apple Store was trying to be like every other retailer, they wouldn't be the most successful brick and mortar retailer in the world.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:04 AM   #16
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Naming One

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Originally Posted by seinman View Post
This times a million. This is a ridiculous move, and I can't believe they even considered it. Name one nationwide retail chain that doesn't require some sort of name tag. It's for a reason.
...Burberry doesn't have any name tags. It is more than likely to promote a more interactive and dynamic shopping experience. Store clerks can no longer stand there until someone stares at their nametag long enough for them to go "Oh, they know I work here - now I will start to help". Apple used to not be this way, but as time has gone on more and more store associates have taken this approach and it should be going the other direction.

CEO of Burberry was Angela Ahrendts' previous position. And before you say the businesses aren't similar - Apple has been doing major things in the past year or so to become more a luxury-esque business. Their products all look the part, the Apple Watch was specifically brought to the attention of people within other luxury businesses, and possibly the hiring of Ahrendts.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:22 AM   #17
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I'm just going to guess Angela Ahrendts knows a thing or two about operating a high end retail space. Here's a great Fast Company piece on her which gives insight into how she might go about changing Apple retail.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3023591/a...eason-at-apple

Quote:
"I don't want to be sold to when I walk into a store. The job is to be a brilliant brand ambassador. Don't sell! No! Because that's a turn-off. Build an amazing brand experience, and then it will just naturally happen." - Ahrendts
Quote:
Selling has always been distasteful to one camp within Apple that believes that the products should sell themselves—and that happy users are the greatest brand ambassadors. A leader of this cohort: designer Jonathan Ive. Even in the store's earliest days, he had some sharp criticisms. "For Jony, they were always selling too hard," says Jeff Zwerner, a former Apple creative director who worked closely with Johnson and the rest of the retail team
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:33 AM   #18
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Interesting they're removing the lanyards, since that's also where Apple employees keep their business cards (and all Apple employees had business cards, at least as late as 2011 when I left, even retail) .

I do like the emphasis on introducing oneself - people totally forget to introduce themselves if they have a name badge. MOST people are far more inclined to remember spoken names than read ones. Both is best, but an interesting experiment.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:34 AM   #19
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Good they are looking at the Holidays, hopefully they will scent their stores a nice apple cider aroma to replace that locker room smell.

I wish Apple Store, at least in my area, would improve air flow. Every time I go there it smells like a locker room; I contribute that to the crowds that are usually there. It is a complete turn off to the "Apple shopping experience".

As far as the comment on the good stock photograph, I agree they are good. Apple hires very good product photographers. And, they are certainly not shot with an iPad or iPhone camera. The one here is lit well and shot with a high quality lens with a fairly large aperture judging by the nice bokeh.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:36 AM   #20
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I wonder how Apple stores will be remodeled to accommodate Watch. They'll need plenty of space to showcase all the combinations and allow people to try on different models.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:46 AM   #21
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Anonomys Employees?

"...the removal of the neck lanyard from the employees' standard retail uniform."

Without these ID badges, the employees can make-up names and have no accountability to their overall customer service standards.

I think this is a bad decision.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 11:49 AM   #22
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Anonymous sources claim Apple's new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone.
... available in $16, $64 and $128 denominations
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 12:01 PM   #23
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Wow.

Great contribution to the team, Angela. Changing a few colors.

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Old Nov 17, 2014, 12:04 PM   #24
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Lol If the Apple Store was trying to be like every other retailer, they wouldn't be the most successful brick and mortar retailer in the world.
Their stores do well because people are drawn to the apple brand. As far as the stores are concerned, they are some of the worst to shop at.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 12:04 PM   #25
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I'd really like to see Apple completely revamp the decor/design of all their stores - they look the same as they did in 2001. The stores really look behind the times.

I'd like to see them revamp the stores for a darker, modern/contemporary black/steel/glass scheme. Ditch the crappy old wood tables and floors, time for a major, major update.
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