Can Angela Ahrendts save the Apple Retail Store?

“Ex-Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts takes over Apple retail just in time for its 13th-year anniversary May 19,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “Since launch the company’s high street stores have become some of the most profitable shops on the planet.”

“That’s not to say Ahrendts has an easy task ahead of her as she takes the helm. Apple’s retail store income hit $5.227 billion in Q2 14, down 25 percent on the traditionally super-strong first quarter but flat on a year-on-year basis,” Evans writes. “Former retail chief, John Browett, left in October 2012. In the absence of a leader Apple’s retail growth has slowed. While the number of stores hit 422, revenue per store declined to $12.4 million in the last quarter from $13.1 million in Q2 2013.”

Evans writes, “It seems plain the chain needs the kind of focus the ex-Burberry CEO may bring.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No “saving” required, just a bit of refocusing. The most important people in the stores are the customers, Apple. Not maintaining counts of how many people are inside at any given moment, or facing iPhone accessories, or kibitzing with each other, etc. (while ignoring the most important people in the store).

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  1. Nothing wrong with apple stores, just need some tuning and adjusting, now if Angela was wiring on Microsoft or google stores, then yes she would have a big challenge 😂

  2. What will she save the most successful retail store (in terms of $ sales/square foot) in history from? A mindless metric of ever increasing q over q percentage growth with a monotonic upward slope?

    1. I NEVER get that. I usually intimidate THEM. Heh heh. In a nice way of course. They LOVE talking to me (or so I tell myself).

      Some of the guys too working in these L.A. Apple stores are people who work in the entertainment industry like me but are between gigs. I always encourage them. Met some great people there.

        1. At our Apple store they can just send them down the corridor to the Microsoft store. Talk about a store that needs saving. All they need to do to improve is to stop carrying Microsoft stuff.

          1. no no, argue with the  staff with:

            “hey, I know you got some in the back storeroom you’re savin’ for yourself. (pull out billfold) I got cash money right here, gimme that Zune.”

            There are great humorous advantages to being an old codger.

            1. You know I’m a ‘positive’ anarchist. I’m into encouraging good choices. But I’ve always had berzerker fun challenging bad choices. It can indeed be loads of fun making the misery mongers miserable.

    2. I have always had a good experience in an Apple Store. It’s just that they are generally so busy I think the staff is overwhelmed. That’s a good problem to have if you’re a retailer. But not so good if you’re a customer. There is a feeling of hurry up let’s get going once you are approached by an Apple employee. Still, that’s not their fault. They do their best. They’re under a lot of pressure. Pressure from management and pressure from customers. Maybe Angela can rectify that in someway?

    3. N E V E R have I experienced ‘arrogance’ toward myself or anyone else at A N Y Apple store I visit.

      I’d enjoy knowing which specific Apple Store has this ‘arrogance’ problem so I can boot them in the bum.

  3. Whenever I enter the Northridge, CA Apple Store all of the employees are very attentive and leap to assist you. Their business guys really jump to your aid. (I had to help them solve an issue with an online tax certificate. It was funny watching them sweat until I finally pointed out what the problem probably was. They ended up sending out warnings to all other Apple business about it. Did my good Apple deed for the day with their undying gratitude.)

    Some stores may be better managed than others. Of course these guys respond better to those who “get it” more than the average lost user. But those types are the ones who need assistance the most and educating those is a prime mission so people can appreciate the Apple difference..

  4. Well, I’ve never seen more than 2 customers at a time in a Burberry store, I mean just how many $600 winter scarves does a person need. Or maybe that single jacket hanging all by itself – what are the odds that it will fit? not worth the trouble to find out.
    How is this experience going to translate into the Apple store experience? In my mind Angela’s first thought is going to be, “OMG what is all this humanity doing in my store.”

  5. The retail stores don’t need saving. They bring in plenty of profits for Apple and it is not about saving anything. There can be improvements in the stores. First off, make them more quiet especially in the family room environments where people need to talk and concentrate. Employees could be compensated better since they do way more than a normal retail person does. Including knowing a lot of high tech information and more. Those two things alone would improve the retail stores immensely.

  6. What problems at the Apple stores? Yes often they are crowded, but you get on the list right away and they get to you as soon as they can. Usually less than five minutes (for a packed store). They have sped up the checkout process and it is painless. You don’t have to stand in a line but can instead peruse the other Apple gear while you wait. Go into any packed store and see how long it takes.

    I have never had a arrogant salesperson in the 12 stores that I have visited.

  7. That’s not to say Ahrendts has an easy task ahead of her as she takes the helm.

    Ooo. Scary FUD!

    Apple’s retail store income hit $5.227 billion in Q2 14, down 25 percent on the traditionally super-strong first quarter but flat on a year-on-year basis

    Well DUH x ∞
    New to Apple’s yearly cycle of sales, are we Jonny Evans who writes for Computerworld?? You can do better than that. Trying to impress the boss today? Don’t wreck your otherwise good and useful reputation with crap like this, please.

  8. The only problem with Apple Retail stores is that they are too crowded so I only visit in the early morning if I need to. I don’t think being too busy is a problem most retail operations would try to fix – except with added stores. Maybe Angela will do that.

    1. I usually go to the Microsoft store and get one of the bored sales guys to go over to the Apple Store and wait in line for me.

      They love having a chance to hang around in a real electronics store with real computers.

  9. One of Angela’s big missions will be to triple the number of Apple stores in greater China (from the present 13 to more like the Burberry count there of 70, as I understand it). Tim Cook mentioned they will triple. Many Americans don’t yet appreciate the fact that only 30% of Apple’s business comes from the US these days. What a future opportunity! When will Wall Street get this?

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