“Apple’s retail business has fallen into relative stasis. Its per-square-foot sales are still the envy of retail–just over $6,000, about twice what runner-up Tiffany records–and net sales rose 7% in fiscal 2013, but per-store numbers were flat, since Apple opened 26 new stores during the year,” Jeff Chu writes for Fast Company.

“Morale has flagged as the retail operation has struggled first through a season under an ill-chosen leader and then a year without any chief at all,” Chu writes. “As envisioned and created by Apple mastermind Steve Jobs and his retail lieutenant Ron Johnson, the stores’ design and customer experience were radical, ‘but they haven’t progressed that much in the past five years. If you’re not reinventing your experience every five years, you’re behind the curve,’ says a longtime member of the retail team. ‘Competitors have been trying to emulate Apple’s retail experience for quite a while, and Apple’s been lucky that nobody has done it better. But that’s not a great position to be in, where the competition just sucks more than you do.'”

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

“Press-shy as ever, Apple, too, declined to comment for this story,”Chu writes. “But it’s not hard to see why, after a nearly yearlong search, the company settled on Angela Ahrendts. A beloved manager, she transformed Burberry’s culture, more than tripled earnings, expanded its global footprint, and helped to restore its historic reputation as an innovator. All Apple wants her to do is exactly the same thing.”

Tons more in the extensive full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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