Angela Ahrendts puts her stamp on the Apple Store

“Apple began pushing a new retail concept on Tuesday aimed at getting customers to visit their stores to learn new skills and not only come through when they want to buy or fix something,” Jason Del Rey reports for Recode. “”

“Starting on Tuesday, people can sign up for free classes ranging from a photography session titled ‘Seeing Beauty in the Familiar’ with the photographer Chris Ozer to ‘Producing Music on the iPhone’ with the producer Steve Lacy,” Del Rey reports. “The programming, dubbed ‘Today at Apple’ is going live this week in 271 U.S. Apple stores and 495 overall.”

“The launch is part of a new store initiative called ‘Today at Apple’ being led by the company’s retail chief, Angela Ahrendts,” Del Rey reports. “The store re-invention comes as all types of retailers are looking for new ways to maintain or increase foot traffic in their stores as more buying moves online.”

 
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll soon see — via whether these revamped free classes continue, increase or go away – if such in-store “experiences” can maintain/increase foot traffic in Apple Stores or not.

SEE ALSO:
Apple launching big, celeb-filled program to get you to hang out in Apple Stores – May 16, 2017
‘Today at Apple’ bringing new experiences to every Apple Store – April 25, 2017
Apple is overhauling its stores, and wants them to be the new Starbucks, says Angela Ahrendts – April 25, 2017

27 Comments

  1. I remember when I got my 1st Apple computer (after buying my first iPhone of course) in 2008 and being blown away by the Apple experience. In-store classes where you could really learn to use your new MAC, iPhone or whatever you wanted to learn on….I was down at my local Apple shop at least once/month to further my Apple learning.

    I hope that’s the type of experience they are bringing back!

    1. looked short sighted to remove them in the first place, bringing them back is great but hardly suggests management is in tune with getting things right or knowing what to invest in and what to leave behind. If there is focus it certainly seems misguided with so many mis-steps and no change in those who made those decisions for the most part. The people who are leaving the company seem to be unrelated to any of these mis steps for the most part which is concerning, especially if its a actually a reaction to them.

  2. increasing foot traffic?

    to me in the Apple stores i’ve been in the main issue is that they are too crowded.
    maybe she’s used to high end clothing boutiques which have only a handful of customers at one time.
    Last time I was at an Apple store, customers were two deep at the tables and I couldn’t even touch the product I wanted to try.

    My priority for Apple stores is “customers wait times to buy or get service should be HALVED” , this should be Apple retail’s push above ‘designer decorative trees’. (I’ve always wondered at over crowded mall locations, if they can’t expand, why don’t they rent another store even not adjoining and put like the repair services there? maybe they’ve done it elsewhere but not the stores I’ve seen. I guess PRACTICAL solutions is beyond them while they fritter over tree placement)

    1. I have to agree with you. The Apple Store in Santa Clara, CA (~5 miles from Apple Headquarters) is busy all the time. Where there are 5 customers in the M$ store opposite, there will be 100+ customers at the Apple Store. The service is still pretty good because they must have 50 people working in the store at any given time.
      Still it begs the question whether Apple need to build more stores to cope with demand. There are no Apple stores on the east side of the Bay Area until you get to Walnut Creek

  3. How is this something really new?

    As a previous poster stated, Apple has had in store classes on how to do things like make photos or music on Apple devices since the stores opened. Many of those were in person classes with the staff right there to help you. How is a video class with a celebrity photographer and such better? In person is virtually 100% of the time better.

    You want more traffic into Apple stores?
    Go back to the way it was when the Apple stores started: stock it with products that people are EAGER to buy. Don’t stock it with products that are six to 12 months (or almost 4 years!) behind the rest of the industry (other than iPhones & Apple Watches)

    Staff it with people who KNOW about Macs (and not just iPhones and Apple Watches). Staff it with people who are more than just acquainted with Macs.

    Hell, when the nearest couple of Apple stores opened years ago they were staffed with people that were fanatical about Apple products. Some of them knew more than I did, which is saying a lot. Today when I walk into an Apple store, those people are all gone. Today’s staff are more sales people than those knowledgeable enough to say, “Apple did it this way because…” and “Prior and/or competing systems lacked/lack such and such. This way is better because…”

    I’ve even had a person greet me, ask what I was there to get/do, then when I told them they went to a wall and took down the WRONG product — something that is not what I needed and can not do what I needed (especially bad since the item I needed was on the same wall just a couple feet away). Fortunately, I am knowledgeable enough to correct them and walk out with the right item. What of those customers who know less than that staffer? They get home, find out it does not work, get mad at Apple, have to go back, then try to find someone who knows what they are doing. If they buy something at all and not just return the original item.

    More splash, less substance. The theme continues.

    1. I agree. I went to my local store (Baton Rouge) a couple weeks ago to buy a MBP for my granddaughter. The sales person who finally helped me acted like she would have preferred to be anywhere else. She acted offended when I had to show her online that Apple actually made the configuration I wanted! I won’t be back. I went home and ordered online, which will be my practice from now on.

      1. I never get that treatment at Apple or hardly anywhere else. I usually engage people in a fun way and get excellent treatment as a result. If you come in with an attitude (I’m not saying you did) or are a Grumpy Gus or Gertie you usually get treated in kind. It’s not an Apple problem particularly, it’s a people problem. Being knowledgeable and making jokes usually makes me fast friends at the Apple Store. It’s just something I’ve noticed dealing with people in general.

        1. I disagree with your premise. I have had great happy sales reps AND those that are not interested in selling to an OLD person. And this is in Apple stores in Memphis and Dallas over the past 7 years. I KNOW to have a smile on my face and explain simply what I am looking for. But, maybe I got the “first day” sales rep at least three times. One messed up the email receipt on a new MB Air and we had to wait 24 hours for them to correct it.

          Having lived in Japan for 26 years and being a foreigner there, I know when a sales person doesn’t want to wait on the foreigner and when the other waiter sees it as an opportunity. (And yes, I am fluent in the language in speaking, reading and writing.) It is easy to tell when people are interested in doing their job and when they are not.

          1. I think you actually agreed! Giving customers a great experience is what you want in an employee representing any company – helping customers both knowledgeable or not. I was just saying I avoid issues with any employee (so far) by engaging the salesperson and having fun with the process. It IS up to management to weed out those employees not interested in representing the company they work for in a positive and helpful way.

  4. I totally agree with Shadowself. I’ve stopped going to Apple stores because many of the employees just aren’t up to scratch. I’d also like to add that at least in the stores in Australia the workers are incredibly young and that smacks of two conclusions. One that Apple is ageist and two it doesn’t mirror the total Apple base.

    What I’m saying is that Apple should employ the best, the most knowledgeable and those who can interact with consumers, not people who looks cool in the latest coloured t-shirt (it was green the other day but I’m sure that will change).

  5. They did something like this before, free classs that became personalized experiences for a price, and it simply vanished, as far as group sessions went.

    Just throw a Hate Tump event and they’ll be in business…except…the attending snowflakes don’t actually have purchasing power….

  6. I’ve had good experiences at the Apple Store in the past but my last one was terrible.

    Took a phone in for screen repair, came back an hour later and the screen had been replaced.

    Took it home, realised that the Touch ID didn’t work, and it wasn’t recognising the serial number.

    To cut a long story short I had to drive back, where they then told me that they had given me the wrong phone, and then replaced it with a new one as they had damaged my old phone when they tried to repair it.

    Then tried to sell me an Apple Watch.

    And the store was packed and I mean packed, almost standing room only.

    The watch bands looked nice though.

      1. Yeah hardly disastrous, like if you missed an important call about your wife in an life ending car accident or something…. but hey, you got a ‘new phone’ (likely refurbished) that does exactly the same things as your last phone, amazing customer service for your time.

  7. Dear People In This Thread Who Know Much More Than An Apple Worker,

    Now that you achieved a high level of Apple knowledge, perhaps even of life itself, your next phase of being a human should be to practice less haughtiness and outrage and more humility and appreciation.

  8. Hang on when the (larger) stores first opened surely this was a common feature and gradually it faded and the theatre areas turned over to other uses for the most part, doesn’t seem to be a totally new concept to me.

    1. You are correct, it’s definitely not new. In fact, this so-called “reinvention” is just a reboot of original Apple Store concepts, only on grander, posher scale. The author of this article doesn’t seem to really know much about Apple Stores if he thinks Apple is just another “retailer looking for new ways to maintain or increase foot traffic.”

  9. I have always had a positive experience at an Apple store. There are times I wished for faster service but looking around I would see25-30 Apple people in a small store, very busy and taking their time with each customer. On a square foot basis they seem to have more customers and more employees than any store I have ever been in. Of course, as Yogi said, nobody goes there anymore because it is too crowded.

  10. But you could always take classes in the store. Then they stopped them. So this is her big idea? Lets do something we stopped ? Just dumb. and really increase foot traffic? Is she nuts- you can hardly get help as it is . The stores are always packed

  11. Angela should be in charge of the employee childrens’ daycare. It’s obvious that she has no clue how to improve the Apple Store experience for prospective computer buyers.

  12. The Apple Stores back when they actually had Macs, Software and Accessories- Mac Accessories- had free classes to get people started on the platform. The Saddle Creek Store had a guy teaching Music on the Mac who worked at Ardent Studios here in town.

    Those days went away despite the classes being well attended as far as I could see. What killed the Apple Store experience was the success of the iPhone. The outsized scale of Phone sales swamped the staff and the emphasis pushed the Macs into a corner and damn near out the door.

    Mac Sales could grow- greatly- if Apple would spend some money on PR, Marketing and actually stock Mac Accessories in their stores like times past. I can get an iPhone anywhere, but I cannot get a Thunderbolt or USB C Docking Station just about anywhere but online. The Apple Store has DJI Drones- just like War-Mart- but little for the Mac user.

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