Angela Ahrendts' Makeover of Apple Retail Outlined in New Profile

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    A new profile of Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has been posted today by BuzzFeed News, providing a look into Ahrendts' move from Burberry, the inspiration for her approach to retail from late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and her partnership with Apple design chief Jony Ive. Ahrendts has been in the spotlight lately following her presentation during the iPhone X keynote event in September, where she explained Apple's new retail initiative, Today at Apple, and provided a sneak peek into upcoming locations around the world.

    Ahrendts said that her approach to the new retail strategy began with an inspiration from Steve Jobs, comparing the brick-and-mortar locations as the retail team's "hardware" and the inner workings of the store -- like Today at Apple programs -- as the "software."

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    Image captured by Hoss Ghertassi via BuzzFeed News

    Ahrendts has tweaked parts of Apple's retail "software" by changing employee t-shirts to a softer material, and removing lanyards so employees "make a human connection" with customers. One former Apple Genius said that while removing lanyards made uniforms "cleaner," the high amount of customers visiting Apple every day is a "reality of retail" that made connecting with every customer difficult.

    When she was creating her strategy, Ahrendts discussed the design and look of the new Apple locations with Jony Ive, who was said to have told Ahrendts, "Don't mess with the tables," referring to the iconic wooden tables that line every Apple store. Ive further described these tables as "sacred."
    Ahrendts also recalled the company's expansion into China, where she asked all United States retail employees if they would be interested to move overseas and assist in running new stores in China. The executive said she was expecting 100 or 200 responses, but ended up with 2,000, half of which ended up moving overseas with plans to stay for between 1 and 5 years. Those who remain in the U.S. said that under Ahrendts' leadership, worker benefits have improved.

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    Image captured by Hoss Ghertassi via BuzzFeed News

    Still, some employees have described their work as starting to feel "increasingly corporate" under Ahrendts. One technical specialist stated that Apple retail "now feels more like a Circuit City, a Best Buy" because of increased micromanagement, rising repair prices, a focus on moving customers in and out of the store as fast as possible, and an "emphasis" on attracting business accounts.

    The rest of the profile on Ahrendts covers much of the same ground as BuzzFeed's iPhone 8 launch video about Apple's "war room," as well as an interview with CEO Tim Cook and Ahrendts posted yesterday. In that interview, Ahrendts said it was "fake news...silly" that she was being groomed as future Apple CEO. Cook then said, "I see my role as CEO to prepare as many people as I can to be CEO, and that's what I'm doing."

    Check out the full BuzzFeed News article on Angela Ahrendts here.

    Article Link: Angela Ahrendts' Makeover of Apple Retail Outlined in New Profile
     
  2. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

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    Half of whom.
     
  3. filmantopia macrumors 6502a

    filmantopia

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    With my time working there from 2007-2011, I can say that there was always this internal myth of things "getting worse" with increased micromanagement, but in my experience there was never an obvious change in that direction. It's all about people's way of perceiving things. The way for example, people have been saying Apple software has been "going downhill" for 15 years.

    We just kind of amplify our perceived problems of the moment and look at the past with rose colored glasses.
     
  4. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

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    Some of the negatives are inevitable results of scaling up as much as Apple has.

    Generally, I think it's positive for Apple's bottom line, and ever so slightly negative for the consumer. The fact it isn't more negative toward the consumer is a minor miracle, and a testament to Ahrendts and all involved in Apple stores.
     
  5. MrGimper macrumors 603

    MrGimper

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    Awesomeness, right there ....
     
  6. mazz0, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2017

    mazz0 macrumors 68000

    mazz0

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    It also says "amount of customers".
     
  7. Naraxus macrumors 6502a

    Naraxus

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    Will they add to that profile her dismantling of what made Apple Stores such a great place to go to in the first place all for the sake of nickeling and diming?
     
  8. brownbird macrumors member

    brownbird

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    I really wish she wouldn't use the phrase "fake news". It's use only works to legitimize the idea that the media is inherently untrustworthy.
     
  9. mazz0 macrumors 68000

    mazz0

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    I still think they should embed the cables in the legs of those tables. I know you could argue that it's honest design, not concealing things, like the notch in the iPhone X, and I often agree with that, but not in this case - it just looks so messy. And it's not like Apple don't usually conceal wiring - what about all the stuff hidden between the glass panels in the SJ Theatre?
     
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    Bolded for emphasis
    Of recent when I was exploring which iPad to buy I spent a fair amount of time at various Apple Stores playing with the iPads. Never did I feel pressured to do anything. I was asked if I had any questions. When I said I was just trying on the models for size I was left to explore.

    If I had one qualm about Apple Stores it's that the in-store pickup experience could be faster. I order online for in-store p/u because I want the hassle-freen online experience with the instant gratification of having the product same-day. Don't ask me if I want any add-ons when I p/u. You've already don't that when I ordered and I declined. I just want my order and to leave. That is where Apple should focus on moving customers in and out of the store as quick as possible. Even better would be an Amazon-Locker type device in-store and I could just grab it and go.
     
  11. gatearray macrumors 65816

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    I find it difficult to look at pictures of AA, too many funny faces and she kinda looks like she could be Tim Cook's sister, which is weird.
     
  12. Angrydad macrumors newbie

    Angrydad

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    So it’s very obvious that when Magazines ask employees questions about their work they need to talk to them out of store. The fact is most Apple employees don’t believe they are paid enough, we can’t afford to live day to day, we have to wonder where our meals are coming from it’s very difficult to have a work life balance with Apple. Apple does not see that cost of living affects most of the employees in the Denver area. If you’re going to be an individual trying to support a family working for Apple is a joke. Some of the benefits are good but it doesn’t put food on the table and pay the bills every month. We are getting to be more like a Best Buy every single day, customer service is lacking now they say there’s other sources to get help with but most customers cannot get help over the phone they want to come in to the Apple Store for the personal attention.
     
  13. unobtainium, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2017

    unobtainium macrumors 68020

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    I think she's doing a decent job. I haven't noticed many changes, either positive or negative, at my local stores.
     
  14. jacobh101 macrumors regular

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  15. kingpushup macrumors regular

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    The criticisms of quick purpose-driven interactions are spot-on, but the old way was equally risky: remember free repairs whenever and just relaxing in the SF theater? I would like to see personnel offering to customers: wish to discuss inside or outside (in the curated courtyards) like restaurant seating options, because its good for business flow and it offers personal choice.
     
  16. Cmd-Z macrumors 6502

    Cmd-Z

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    I wish she'd change up her smile once in awhile, that smug looking smirk is annoying.
     
  17. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    "'Don't mess with the tables', Ive told Ahrendts."

    If only he told her not to mess with the Genius Bar, pre-order experience, culture of the place, or the quality of customer service, too.
     
  18. Joined:
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    #18
    Interesting that she actually gave my local store in Indianapolis some love!
     
  19. Amacfa macrumors 68000

    Amacfa

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    But it is true. The media IS inherently untrustworthy.
     
  20. unobtainium, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2017

    unobtainium macrumors 68020

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    You have to understand that even though you work for a multi-trillion dollar company, frontline workers for that company don't matter. I'm sure you wouldn't want a billionaire shareholder to have to give 0.000001% of his wealth so workers could make a decent wage?
     
  21. nutriousmitten macrumors regular

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    Were there actually complaints about the tshirt cotton hardness? Not like employees were previously wearing polyester. File that under snowflakes, or, we found cheaper tshirts that are thinner and softer and probably won't last as long but we will call it a move to improve employee moral.
    And "sacred" tables? Get over yourself Ive. At some point that will be a contentious point for AA because the tables are 90% of the sales floor experience and equipment and if she has to shake it up to appear progressive and update or change the retail experience , tables would be what has to be modified.
     
  22. tkermit macrumors 68040

    tkermit

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    She does come off as a bit patronizing to me. Like it says in the article: "In a different life, Ahrendts could have been a pastor."
     
  23. nfl46 macrumors 604

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    Everyone knows she's Tim's successor for CEO of Apple. It's starting to become obvious at this point. They sure as hell aren't putting a hardware or software guy at the top.
     
  24. Braderunner macrumors 6502a

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    This bit with calling the stores "town squares" is ridiculous. :rolleyes:o_O:confused::rolleyes:
     
  25. tkermit macrumors 68040

    tkermit

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    That would be a mistake. It's one thing to be a non-techie (which she readily admits) when you're just responsible for retail, but she really shouldn't be responsible for Apple as a whole.
     

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