Here’s what Angela Ahrendts should do to boost the luxury factor of Apple Retail Stores

“A 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display can be more expensive than an Hermès bag, so why shouldn’t stepping into an Apple Store replicate the same luxury retail experience?” Oscar Raymundo asks for Macworld.

“That’s the one question Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior VP of retail, is trying to answer,” Raymundo writes. “Two years ago, Ahrendts left her gig as Burberry CEO and is now in charge of making the Apple Stores more chic.”

“She instituted private try-on appointments for the higher-end Apple Watches and has been extremely selective as to which third-party accessories hit the floor room. According to The New York Times, this week a few Apple Stores will start selling a $1,990 wireless speaker made by French audio company Devialet. All thanks to Ahrendts,” Raymundo writes. “But why stop there? Here are some more humble suggestions for how Ahrendts can continue fancy-fying the Apple Store.”

Angela Ahrendts, Apple's Senior Vice President Retail and Online Stores
Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores
• Make all new product launches appointment-only
• Switch out the maple wood display tables
• Get a fashion designer to redesign the blue Genius T-shirt
• Start integrating multimedia and technology
• Stop selling basic accessories separately

Much more, including discussion of all five points above, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ahrendts does not need any advice whatsoever about where to take Apple Retail Stores. Just let her do her thing!

Apple’s Angelea Ahrendts makes her mark on Apple Stores by going ‘ultraluxe’ – December 8, 2015
Apple’s Angela Ahrendts a featured speaker at next week’s Bloomberg Year Ahead Summit – November 2, 2015
What the heck is Angela Ahrendts doing at Apple? – September 10, 2015
Apple’s Angela Ahrendts emerges as highest-paid U.S. woman with $83 million – May 5, 2015
When Angela Ahrendts met Tim Cook – March 26, 2015
Jony Ive and Angela Ahrendts working on Apple Retail Store redesign for Apple Watch – February 16, 2015


  1. Jesus MDN!

    You were down on “that guy from Dixons” like a ton of bricks for the slightest rumour. Yet you support AA like she is your girlfriend. She has done NOTHING! Except take in excess of $70Million in a big red Santa Sack all the way to the bank….and it wasn’t even Christmas.

    Wish SJ was back. He’d kick her ass out the door before she could say, “Angelaaaaa”.

    1. She was a merchandiser at Burberry. thats all. They are a dime a dozen . She’s the one the decided that the watches were to be sold by appts . And thats probably why they initially sold less of them. A watch is an impulse item, not something that needs long range planning .Shes going after something that isn’t the Apple customer, maybe its an add on business

      1. Presumably the reason non Apple buyers have steered away from Apple products so far is because the retail experience hasn’t been luxurious enough. . .

        Stick insect thin staff wearing gaudy, expensive attire, surrounded by exotic fabric lined stores, having the Apple line of products paraded down an in store catwalk, while airhead fashionistas sit and watch with smug self importance oozing from their faces, whilst thinking $17,000 is quite reasonable for a set of rose gold coloured plastic earbud headphones?

        Was that TC’s thinking when he put Angela Airhead in charge of retail?

        The online store is a nightmare. If you want for example those Phantom speakers, try find them. . . you have to search and search. The old online store was pretty straight forward, it had dedicated sections and it worked, as did the retail stores.

        SJ Ethos: let the products sell themselves, seems to have worked so far $200+ Billion in the bank, hugely popular products loved by millions.

        If the new philosophy is to appeal only to the uber rich, Apple tried that in the early days with very expensive hardware and they almost went bust on several occasions. Lesson learned? Obviously not.

    2. Face it, Tim Cook hired AA as window dressing. She’s never had a substantive role in the company, and if she did, we would have been seeing her at Apple events. Instead, MDN reports that she finally “made her mark” by selling the Phantom space podlike device, which starts at $1,990, in Apple stores. Not an Apple product, mind you, but a third party device that few will buy, but she’ll adorn Apple stores with “luxury.” She doesn’t understand Apple’s base, and Tim Cook clearly is forgetting about it. Why MDN is an apologist for AA is a mystery to me, but fortunately, this isn;t the only Apple-focused website. We can get more rational editorials elsewhere.

  2. It would be a real luxury to have enough room to turn around in most Apple stores in the US. Let the high fashion stay on Rodeo Drive. Apple is already cool enough, don’t make it into foo foo bs.

  3. Oscar Raymundo, MacWorld writer.

    Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores

    You pick which one has the best ideas for boosting anything having to do with retail sales.

    Don’t forget, MacWorld did so well in print that it’s now online only.

  4. this seems to be just one more sign that all is not well in apple world. somebody seems to be losing touch with the original apple dna

    it is increasingly looking like the bean counters are gaining influence. and image over substance is creeping in.

    apple has always charged premium prices, but their goods were intended for everyone. and were advertised as such. for many they may have been aspirational, work and save and you can afford them.

    nowadays it is looking like they are consciously choosing to present them selves as a purveyor of premium products for premium people.

    where is the old focus on “insanely great” products ? where is the attention to detail? the list of botched launches and not totally thought through or implemented services is growing longer.

    and why on earth reconfigure apple stores to seem as though they cater to the elite? might make them feel good, but there are not that many of them around, compared to the rest of us. we who but most of mr. apples products.

    make great products and the elite will comes as will we patricians.

    but i for one am getting concerned that the upper echelons are spending too much time in a rarified atmosphere that most of do not inhabit. and are losing the trail.

    1. no sarcasm required!!!! Apple’s tasteless store employee attire is at odds with Cook’s desire to be a fashion house.

      Polo is a good middle ground. Most people I know aren’t impressed with Ahrends or the new emphasis on style over substance.

      Why can’t Apple just go back to something in the middle? Products that are less overpriced, salespeople who are less condescending, and at least some use of color in the showrooms. And products that the user can actually improve or replace batteries in, instead of stupid sealed overheating wafer-thin products that Apple sells now.

  5. I’m a fan of Angela Ahrendts and hope she doesn’t implement most of these recommendations the author of this article is suggesting as I think there may be some flawed logic here.

    The luxury experience of a Hermès bag has nothing to do with the retail dollar amount. It has to do with the difference of the retail dollar amount compared to products of the same type.

    You could go and buy a Hyundai and pay much more than you would for any Apple product or a Hermès bag, but the experience is low-end, because the price is less relative to Mercedes, BMW, etc…

    Unless Apple products are going to be significantly more expensive than the competition, then portraying the retail experience as being as such doesn’t make sense.

    It should be a great experience and not look like Apple is cheap about anything, but it should always be customer-centric.

    Here’s specifically where the author off track:

    Taking it one step further, every new in-store product purchase, try-on or pickup should require an appointment, and there will be limited number of appointment spots per day to avoid crowds. There is no reason why the Apple Store should ever resemble the opening of the new Star Wars at your local movie theater. And if your customers can’t figure out how to book an appointment or place an order online, then you probably don’t want them walking around with your products in the first place.

    There’s nothing wrong with having appointments, but the store should always be a welcoming experience. A customer with a chaotic schedule shouldn’t have to think Apple products aren’t for them. A person who has a product break down should be able to go to an Apple store without any complication and be welcomed and serviced as quickly as possible so they can get back to using a working Apple product.

    The better approach would be to make sure there are more Apple Stores, and that they are spacious, well stocked, comfortable, clean, state-of-the-art, and staffed well enough to promptly handle any customer who comes in.

    Also… launch events at Apple Stores are fun. Just make sure there’s plenty of stock, and allow online pre-orders.

  6. Require an appointment for new product launches? What an idiotic idea.

    Years ago we had an excellent camera store here in my town, and it was bought out by a new owner. New owner decided to make equipment sales an appointment-only experience. I found this out one Saturday when I unexpectedly had a free afternoon, and went to the store to try out a couple of new lenses I was considering. Got to the door – locked, with a doorbell. I was buzzed in and greeted by a receptionist who asked me which salesperson did I have an appointment with.

    No appointment, I said; no browsing, she said. I was not buzzed in to the actual store; I was told that I could schedule an appointment while I was there or I could call back later for one.

    Never set foot near the place again and it folded in about three months.

  7. Almost disagree with every point.. Specially the 1st point.
    Apple gets major major promo and buzz from the masses gathering for their new products at the launch. They get world wide buzz out of these events …..It distinguishes them from the rest of wannabes .
    Its free and creates excitment.
    And yes along with that come some inconveniance .. But hey if one does not like to deal with the crowds .. Order online and have it delivered to your door !
    Dont lose the fantastic vibe and buzz of the crowded launches .

    Angela .. Hummm.. Well still waiting to see her mark at Apple.
    She is responsible for the b&m retail stores and online and their merger.
    Anyone check the Applewatch 360 views at Apple site.. I encourage u to go through all. Inconsistency all over. Its embarrassing for Apple. This is what most of the world sees, not the displays at retail stores.
    Where is detail oriended mindset ?
    Just an example . …

    Ok im ready to get shot.. Go ahead

  8. If AA is a representation of the direction TC wants Apple to go in, it’s not IMHO a good move.

    I guess when you’ve hoarded over $200Billion in cash from regular shoppers, you can then cut them out of the equation and just tailor to the super rich market. Angela A is not a fit for the Apple Steve Jobs created.

    Tim Cook got her appointment wrong. If not wrong, I don’t like the direction he is taking the company.

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