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Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien recently spoke with CNBC's Josh Lipton about the future of Apple Stores amid a transition to a post-pandemic world.

apple-store-tower-theatre.jpg

As noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber, June 15 marked the first day that all Apple Store locations were open around the world, as public health restrictions begin to ease in many countries. O'Brien confirmed that all Apple Store locations are now open, adding that more people are getting out and about as life returns to a more familiar state.

O'Brien does not anticipate a "major shift" in operations moving forward, but Apple does continue to offer customers one-on-one shopping sessions with a Specialist as well as Genius Bar reservations at many locations. The retail chief expects Apple Stores to remain a "hub of activity" with free "Today at Apple" creative sessions and more.

Apple has over 500 stores around the world, including a new Tower Theatre location in Downtown Los Angeles that opens today.


Article Link: Apple Stores Won't See 'Major Shift' in Operations After Reopening Worldwide
 
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I@beck

macrumors member
May 23, 2021
44
125
Glad to hear the news. Hope that all the stores around the world remain open and keep on offering one-on-one service to customers.
 

mansplains

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2021
238
302
Shopping in-store is always my preference so long as I know the item's in stock. So many times I've missed the courier because deliveries tend to occur while people are working and I can't sign or pre-sign.
 

TheYayAreaLiving

macrumors demi-goddess
Jun 18, 2013
11,632
36,326
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Apple is so full of itself. Hire a couple of cashiers and have customer focused service like a real store.
All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
 

PDubNYC

macrumors member
May 14, 2003
73
21
NYC
All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
I use the Apple Store app on my phone to buy accessories without any need for an employee. Or at least I did prior to Covid, I haven't been in a store since then. For computers or anything they keep in the back they definitely need some more staff
 

Apple of my eye

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2004
107
66
Fresno, Ca
All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
Agreed. Adding a check-out-only function/area while continuing with the specialist's ability to check people out is the best option. It would be a win-win. If I needed consultation, I could get it and buy it without having to wait in line again. If I didn't I could b-line right to the item I wanted to buy followed by the check-out line. Heck, even self-checkout with Apple Pay would be an improvement.
 

citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
8,192
14,277
San Francisco
All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.

That has always worked for me.

If I buy an accessory off the shelf, I present it and my credit card to an associate and he/she completes the transaction.

If I want to buy an MBP I let an associate know, who then messages a stock person to bring it out, and the transaction is then completed.

Easy peasy.
 
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Maconplasma

Cancelled
Sep 15, 2020
2,489
2,206
I hope Apple does something about the Apple stores always being too crowded.

I get that’s what makes Apple stores a special place to hangout but it’s so hard to find a specialist to check out.
That would never work. There’s no way Apple can slow down traffic because that would result in profiling customers to filter out the buyers from the ones lurking about. That could result in a big lawsuit because the ones “lurking about” could be picking out their next Mac or just end up buying one the same day but if they get profiled they could feel discriminated against.
 

Expos of 1969

Contributor
Aug 25, 2013
3,260
6,165
That has always worked for me.

If I buy an accessory off the shelf, I present it and my credit card to an associate and he/she completes the transaction.

If I want to buy an MBP I let an associate know, who then messages a stock person to bring it out, and the transaction is then completed.

Easy peasy.
Do you have a personal associate? If not, you must search for one. Not so easy peasy. Going to a cashier location which is clearly marked with signage would be easy peasy. But the horror, signage would ruin the Apple store image. To hell with the poor customers who simply want to hand over their cash for the overpriced accessories in a timely manner and get out of the store.
 

miq

macrumors regular
Feb 29, 2020
111
95
Hang on... that thumbnail... Is that how US Apple stores are currently operating?! Lmfao.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
8,192
14,277
San Francisco
Do you have a personal associate? If not, you must search for one. Not so easy peasy. Going to a cashier location which is clearly marked with signage would be easy peasy. But the horror, signage would ruin the Apple store image. To hell with the poor customers who simply want to hand over their cash for the overpriced accessories in a timely manner and get out of the store.

And stand in a long line in front of a counter? No thanks. That's the way it was 15 years ago and was not a good experience.

Again, I just find an associate who is not busy and it's smooth sailing from there.
 

erniefairchild1

Suspended
Jan 28, 2017
116
204
Agreed. Adding a check-out-only function/area while continuing with the specialist's ability to check people out is the best option. It would be a win-win. If I needed consultation, I could get it and buy it without having to wait in line again. If I didn't I could b-line right to the item I wanted to buy followed by the check-out line. Heck, even self-checkout with Apple Pay would be an improvement.
Self checkout for many products (probably only accessories, though) is possible with the Apple Store app!
 
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nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,070
2,987
And stand in a long line in front of a counter? No thanks. That's the way it was 15 years ago and was not a good experience.

Again, I just find an associate who is not busy and it's smooth sailing from there.

Last time I went to an Apple store, I found an associate who was 'not busy', and had just finished selling something to someone.

She directed me to a 40-person queue, snaking out the door, of people who would be seen by specialists before me... That's the way it was about 4 weeks ago... and it was not a good experience.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
8,192
14,277
San Francisco
Last time I went to an Apple store, I found an associate who was 'not busy', and had just finished selling something to someone.

She directed me to a 40-person queue, snaking out the door, of people who would be seen by specialists before me... That's the way it was about 4 weeks ago... and it was not a good experience.

Was that due to the pandemic along with a new product release, when social distancing and 25% (or less) occupancy rules were in play?
 

miq

macrumors regular
Feb 29, 2020
111
95
Yep, only four customers allowed in the store at the same time and they must change into blue t shirts for the full Apple experience.
Hahahah. Nah but seriously, are there actually shields separating staff from customer and everybody has to wear masks?!
 

Johnny907

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2014
1,619
2,777
The appointments just to shop have annoyed me personally, but hey. it's not all about me.
I've walked in three times in the last two months without an appointment, as I know exactly what I am there for and find it ridiculous to "schedule and appointment" just to have someone hand me the item I need. All three times a short conversation was all it took to bypass this appointment nonsense. At least most store-level Apple employees have common sense.
 
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tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
7,041
4,249
All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
As others have mentioned, the Apple Store app lets you scan and pay for non serialized products all by yourself, without talking to a store employee.
Agreed. Adding a check-out-only function/area while continuing with the specialist's ability to check people out is the best option. It would be a win-win. If I needed consultation, I could get it and buy it without having to wait in line again. If I didn't I could b-line right to the item I wanted to buy followed by the check-out line. Heck, even self-checkout with Apple Pay would be an improvement.
This has existed for a few years already, see my comment above.
That has always worked for me.

If I buy an accessory off the shelf, I present it and my credit card to an associate and he/she completes the transaction.

If I want to buy an MBP I let an associate know, who then messages a stock person to bring it out, and the transaction is then completed.

Easy peasy.
Or just do it all yourself—pay for accessories right through the Store app or purchase serialized products like iPhones, Macs, iPads, etc using express pickup from the store. Show an employee your pickup barcode and an ID and you’re out the door. Way easier than waiting for employee assistance. IIRC, prior to the pandemic, when you entered the Apple Store, if you were picking up a purchase, you could request the store bring your items right in the app—no wait to find an employee to finalize your pickup.
Do you have a personal associate? If not, you must search for one. Not so easy peasy. Going to a cashier location which is clearly marked with signage would be easy peasy. But the horror, signage would ruin the Apple store image. To hell with the poor customers who simply want to hand over their cash for the overpriced accessories in a timely manner and get out of the store.
See previous comments above. Will almost certainly be quicker than waiting for a Store associate or a cashier line to help.
Self checkout for many products (probably only accessories, though) is possible with the Apple Store app!
Exactly.

Apple makes is easier to purchase their stuff than pretty much any other retailer with physical brick and mortar stores. Their stores are crazy busy, always have been and will continue that way because is the popularity of their product. Just use the systems they’ve put in place. Need to make a quick purchase, use the store app. Need some guidance, schedule a one-on-one shopping appointment. Can’t really get much simpler considering the circumstances.
 
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