Angela Ahrendts Discusses Apple's Experiential Retail Strategy in New Interview

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In a new interview with Vogue Business this week, Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has talked about Apple's approach to "experiential" retail. Namely, Ahrendts discussed Apple's ongoing expansion of Today at Apple sessions, which transform the company's retail stores into communal spaces for classes, how-to sessions, photo tours, and more.


    The interview took place near Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C., where Apple's next major retail store will open soon. Ahrendts explained that the location will become a community hub for the area, including field trips for local schools and off-site walking tours of the nearby sites in Washington, D.C., teaching attendees how to capture the best photos on iPhone or sketch landmarks on iPad.

    Ahrendts remarked that Apple's goal is to continue the vision for retail that began with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
    To manage an employee network of 70,000 people, each retail worker starts their day using an app called Hello, including briefings on important matters for the day with videos from Ahrendts and her team. There's also a partner app, Loop, that acts as an internal social network for staff members.

    The retail chief said this internal communication between Apple and its retail employees is critical, and what's missing from a lot of other brands.
    This Spring will mark the two year anniversary of Today at Apple sessions, which began expanding worldwide in May 2017. Ahrendts spearheaded the launch, kicking off the transformation of traditional Apple retail stores into "modern-day town squares" and hubs of education. Before the debut of Today at Apple, the company hinted at its upcoming retail changes by dropping the word "Store" from the Apple Store branding.

    In the article, Vogue Business pointed out that since 2017 nearly 10,000 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States have closed, and analysts predict one in four U.S. malls will be out of business by 2022. Ahrendts explained that Apple's approach is "very different...from traditional retailers," because the company focuses on the effect of its branding on customers over profitability.

    "One of the things we've had to do at Apple is to stop looking at everything on a linear basis," she said. "You can't just look at the profitability of one store or the profitability of one app or the online business. You have to put it all together: one customer, one brand." According to Ahrendts, "The tragedy in retail" for other brands is that they are too focused on numbers instead of focusing on and investing in their own employees, "and in that environment, big isn't always good."

    You can check out the rest of the Vogue Business interview right here.

    Article Link: Angela Ahrendts Discusses Apple's Experiential Retail Strategy in New Interview
  2. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    It's "experiential retail" in the quoted article, not "experimental retail". The meaning is somewhat different...
  3. Rob_2811 macrumors 68000

    Mar 18, 2016
    United Kingdom
    Apple has recently spoilt the look and feel of my local "town square" by putting up adverts for for the iPhone XR and various trade in programs all over the front windows.

    Glad they aren't just focussing on sales and numbers..
  4. apple_iBoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
  5. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Although I am not the target audience and personally do not feel the attraction that Apple stores obviously have for the people that go there, Angela Ahrendts is doing an excellent job and her concept works for the company and its customers - so kudos to her.

    I think just like Barnes & Noble and other book stores, they should add a coffee area to their stores - that would definitely help with the human interaction and make those places more attractive. Good cheese cake would also help. :)
  6. rmoliv macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2017
    Lisbon, Portugal
  7. JustinRP37 macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2016
    New York, NY
    I avoid these ‘stores’ as much as possible. They are always crowded with angry people waiting for service at the ‘Genius’ Bar. No Apple you are not the next Starbucks. As much as Starbucks would like to sell me a $3,000 Latte Pro, it isn’t happening. Focus on technology and keeping people happy with your products.
  8. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor


    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2015
    Just updated, thanks.
  9. Glenny2lappies macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    Doesn't it have to be "experiential" just to hide the lack of (new) product?
  10. TheShadowKnows!, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019

    TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    "I think as humans we still need gathering places," Ahrendts says. "And when you are serving digital natives, the thing they long for more than anything is human connection. Eye contact."
    Serving digital natives? Eye contact?
    Ahrendts speaking in tongues using platitudes and gobbledygook.

    speaking in tongues ::= "A person speaking in tongues is usually in the midst of religious ecstasy, trance, or delirium." That sounds about right./s
  11. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    Was Ron Johnson fun and exciting? What would you like Angela to do? She actually seems fine to me.

    Apple is in a very unique position. Other retail stores can not compare. They’re one of the most profitable companies in the world. Everyone relies on their products.

    They have beautiful stores in good locations, training/classes, tech support, business solutions and general sales.

    I don’t think Apple is going anywhere for a long time, let alone their retail locations.
  12. iphonehype, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019

    iphonehype macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012
    My last 2 experiences of Apple Store. iPhone was repaired but the screen not replaced properly, noticed when I got home. Went back to store and had a manager who was not very professional.

    Second time went to buy a MacBook had to wait over 25 minutes for the pleasure of spending £2,500! I've had a better experience in McDonald's!
  13. newyorksole, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2019

    newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    Crowded stores seems like a good problem to have, no? And LOL not everyone waiting for the Genius Bar is angry. How could you compare a company that sells coffee and food to a company that sells technology?

    You realize that there is a team at Apple that works on retail and a separate team to work on products, right?
  14. BigBoy2018, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019

    BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2018
    Here's a retail 'experiment' she could try: Lowering the prices a bit.
  15. vmachiel macrumors 68000

    Feb 15, 2011
  16. joueboy macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2008
    I don't even think the Apple Store was any better since she took over. I hardly even stop by Apple Store anymore, they tend to jump on you now unlike back then they just leave you alone. Basically their stuff hangs out at the front door like a Walmart greeter then jumps on you like a BestBuy employees, be prepared for a sales talk if you don't have an Apple Care.
  17. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Apple sells you an experience, not a product. And the Apple Store is a part of that experience. Like it or hate it, it's not going anywhere.
  18. ksec macrumors 6502a

    Dec 23, 2015
    Under the ideal situation, yes, the Store is not a place to sell, it is to attract customers, brand building, education, and gathering. Steve was right all along, but that is the "ideal" situation. And Steve knew we don't live in an ideal world.

    In an ideal world, Apple's product will also be close to perfect it doesn't need any support or servicing.

    But that is not true and not only Apple has more customers than ever, their product are also requiring more servicing, from battery, keyboard, staingate... etc.

    When you have shrink the the percentage of Floor Plan for Genius Bar, and more customers are waiting for support. That is not the Apple Store Steve envisioned. And not the experience you are are looking for from Apple.
  19. deckard666 macrumors 6502


    Jan 16, 2007
    Always used to make me laugh in Bristol wandering around the shops - Apple shop packed to capacity with kids to OAPS and lots of laughter and the Samsung shop round the corner....always empty bar the staff looking bored out their brains. Are they still about ?
  20. marty11 macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    I wonder what Steve Jobs would think of this person .Kind of funny how she refers to him as "Steve" as if they were long time friends.
  21. Lioness~ macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2017
    If they opened a store in my city, I'll go.

    But my intent of going there wouldn't be to take a cup of coffee, or hang, I'll do that elsewhere.
    I expect meeting nothing but great professionals in a Apple Store. Much much better then the stores that only are Apple-authorized stores.
    Hope they focus on that.

    That was funny. So do a lot of people here and online. We all love Stevie :)
  22. partsofspeech macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2018
    "One of the things we've had to do at Apple is to stop looking at everything on a linear basis," she said.

    Not until you and Flat Team came to power, Apple had never looked at things linearly.
  23. Suttree macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2018
    I’d have more respect for this woman if she was more honest: it’s all about selling iToys. “We want to enrich people’s selling a $1,500 iPhone!” Disgusting.

    All Apple wants to enrich is their profits.
  24. partsofspeech macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2018
    High fashion people think they re hip whatever they wear, say, or do, while they are actually a boring bunch.
  25. motm95 macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2010
    Same here. It has become an extremely annoying experience.

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