Two years in, ‘Today at Apple’ is outgrowing Apple Retail Stores

“It’s impossible to talk about Apple retail in 2019 without mentioning Today at Apple,” Michael Steeber writes for 9to5Mac. “The program of creative sessions has become a primary force driving the philosophy, architecture, and organization of all Apple Stores since it was rolled out globally two years ago this week.”

“Those two years have been marked by a maturing session curriculum that has sharpened Today at Apple’s focus and expanded its reach,” Steeber writes. “The program has evolved so much, in fact, that it is beginning to outgrow the stores [for which] it was designed.”

“From the smallest mall stores to the largest global flagship locations, Apple attempts to offer a nearly identical regular program of sessions. As Today at Apple grows, this puts a strain on the store layout,” Steeber writes. “In mall stores — still the vast majority of Apple’s fleet — the Forum ends up being repurposed as a lounge for support appointments, even when sessions are going on. Customer frustrations around seating, noise, and crowding often stem from these two store functions colliding.”

“Standard mall stores simply can’t accommodate the layout needed for support and sessions to coexist peacefully,” Steeber writes. “It’s clear that Today at Apple doesn’t require a physical building to fulfill its purpose. The people, ideas, and interactions behind the sessions matter most. As Today at Apple enters year three, it will need to take a creative approach to reach its full potential — just like the program encourages others to do.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

One thing’s for sure, at least in mall stores, a simple addition could make the experience better for everyone involved: Some attention to acoustics is required where none seems to have been given to date. Trying to offer free classes is ridiculous if you can’t hear due to the incessant, yet needless overly-bright din. You may not be able to easily make the stores less crowded, but you certainly can make them less acoustically bright and therefore less annoyingly loud. — MacDailyNews, March 18, 2019

Two things additional things about Apple Retail Stores: One, a constant since inception, is that the stores are overly acoustically “bright” making them extremely loud. Hard floors, glass, hard ceilings; it can get deafening. In smaller stores, this makes hearing instructors’ classes, or even staff members more difficult than it should be. Some acoustical design (sound deadening) would go a long, long way to making the stores more comfortable overall. Secondly, the stores are increasingly more crowded – a nice problem to have – which is obviously recognized as an issue as we see Apple expanding stores pretty much wherever they can. (Just don’t forget the acoustics! Quieter stores will seem less crowded, even if they actually aren’t.)MacDailyNews, August 16, 2018

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1 Comment

  1. The focus on the artificial as opposed to the natural has made apple devices and contexts hard, harsh and less compatible with human interaction. The elimination of pseudonatural in software and hardware has removed also sensitivity to natural. The wood in stores is not enough. I think there is a misunderstanding of the role of the smooth and well finished that is too optimized and non adaptive.

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