The Apple Watch could push techies out of Apple Retail Stores – How about ‘Apple Watch Stores?’

“A gusty wind of change is coming to the Apple retail stores, generated by the April debut of the Apple Watch, but pushed along by too-small stores, over-crowded Genius Bars, and the introduction of an entirely new way to display, demonstrate and sell products. And like all big winds, forecasters are split on whether the stores, customers and employees will survive the tornado without being blown away,” Gary Allen reports for Forbes. “In fact, the changes are so fundamental, insiders say the stores will undergo physical changes beyond new glass-topped tables to display the Apple Watch, including more sit-down space.”

“The Apple Watch will rely on a completely different sales model. As an item of fashion instead of technology, buying an Apple Watch will be less demonstration, and more consideration,” Allen reports. “There will be fewer minutes spent running software and more time spent contemplating the various colors, sizes and band options, and how they appear on the wrist. Does it match my clothing, my other jewelry, and does it match me?”

“Ultimately it will all be about time and space at the Apple store. Are you willing to wade into a crowded, mall-based Apple store, wait around a display table while someone else looks at their wrist for 10 minutes, just to potentially buy a watch?” Allen reports. “But Apple wants you to arrive and leave completely happy. So they must be thinking about the complete—and perfect—visitor experience… So, will the fashion-oriented Apple Watch customers push out the techies? I’m an optimist, but I recognize there are pitfalls ahead for Apple’s retail chain as the Apple Watch rolls out. And it may require some patience on the part of every Apple store visitor who arrives for either the Apple Watch or some other tech product.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How about “Apple Watch Stores” (either stores-within-stores or as separate entities, kiosks or otherwise grander) dedicated specifically to Apple Watch customers?

Watch and see.


  1. Exciting times ahead for Apple and their shareholders! It will be interesting to see how they manage the inventory and find space to display and interact with the customer!

  2. Was in line on opening day at the 4th Apple Store (by opening -not number) and rarely go anymore. It stopped being about the Mac a long time ago, the quality of knowledge is nil compared to back in the day, is overrun with hipsters and whatever Yuppie types are called these days and has the worst customer service this side of an old Soviet era Department Store.

    That and I do not give a flying flip at a rolling doughnut about an ugly watch developed as a knee jerk reaction to something Samsung did first. The watch seems to me more a form over function device looking for a purpose than anything else.

    Finally the fact that Apple hired a woman whose main experience is in selling overpriced sweatshop clothes to people with more money than sense or taste to head retail speaks volumes as to the values Apple seems to be moving toward. Hope I am wrong, but doubt I am.

    1. You’re either an idiot or a hater…

      First of all, the AppleWatch has been in development for years, it is not a knee-jerk reaction to something Samsung did. If anything Samsung’s device is a knee-jerk reaction to rumors that Apple was developing a wearable.

      Second Angela’s expertise is not in the product she’s selling, but the experience in selling it. It doesn’t matter what “it” is. As she showed with Burberry, it’s about making the experience of buying the product the focus, not necessarily the product itself.

    2. I was in an “Old Soviet Department Store” Amazing… It was in a mid sized town in Ukraine. The building was rather modern looking 60’s+ design, 2 stories. Still a step back through time.

      They had a Commodore Vic 20, with all accessories for sale, 20,000R. At the then exchange rate of 1:1, it was $20,000US. I was laughing in side. It was priced in such a way, that no one would want to buy it, but it was there so they could say, “What do you mean we don’t let our people buy technology.”

      The whole point of the store was to have one. Sure they sold things, but it was typically the same stuff you got at smaller stores, coats, clothes, socks, shoes that don’t fit, black and while film, watches, radios, TVs. I didn’t have a problem with service, buying B&W film for a Zenite(sp) camera. I couldn’t be sure they sold anything to anyone else though.

    3. Agreed. I don’t need my life any more complicated with yet another overpriced device – there is no value proposition there for me. I wish they would fix Yosemite’s UI. However, doing that requires focus and a commitment to quality. Apple, sadly, has become a trend-chaser, being fashionable for fashion’s sake. It no longer delivers quality or value consistently.

  3. An speculative article with a half a dozen questions about the retail process of Apple watch when there are hundreds of questions and hundreds of answers to those questions.

    Come back when you have some facts and done some investigative reporting Gary Allen, or simply respect Apple’s privacy. I know it’s a hard thing for jouranalists to do.

    1. It would be amusing the way a train wreck is amusing — lots of casualties viewed by helpless bystanders who do nothing but cheer on conflict to appease their boredom.

  4. What a crappy low information article, like somehow buying a watch is harder than buying a smartphone, an iPod, a tablet, or a computer? like somehow the hands-on apple store that lets you demo all this fab technology cannot repeat the same process for the iWatch. We’ve seen special display cases for the small things like the iPod nano, so I am pretty well convinced that apple won’t have trouble displaying and demoing the watch. c’mon forbes, really?

  5. for all the Mac owners that bought Apple hardware years before the iPhone, “we were Apple when Apple wasnt cool”. I hate to go into an Apple store with all the wannabes running around. I just hope Apple doesnt become the new Microsoft.

  6. It is entirely ridiculous now when you go in a Apple Store to try anything, with the cow herds of people at all tables, the Genius Bar is utterly ridiculous and never on time for your appointment. And friggin loud, cannot hear yourself think in there, plus when you walk in, Apple employees tend to avoid you at all costs. Buying online is the only way to go.

  7. Apple will simply expand its stores as it needs to (and it needs to), but there is also a benefit from having your store look very busy. People want to go see what’s happening. If the store is empty (a la Microsoft stores), then no one goes in.

    As for the Watch, selecting a band is not going to be that different for most people than selecting a case for their iPhone. People browse the choices, take it out of its packaging to see how it fits on their iPhone, and check to see if it matches their purse, jacket, or whatever. And it’s so easy to change bands with Watch that the process may be faster than getting some cases on or off of an iPhone.

  8. I always drop into the Apple Store when I’m in the mall, just to see if they invented anything I didn’t know I needed. Yesterday, however, it was pretty grungy. It looked less like an Apple Store and more like a combination tattoo parlor and biker bar.

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