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Apple overhauls retail customer experience

updated 05:30 pm EST, Mon November 26, 2007

Apple retail overhaul

Apple has been progressively changing its retail store format over the past year, eliminating cash registers while introducing several new services and increased staffing, to create a more personalized and friendly environment for customers. The recently introduced concierge service directs customers to whatever section of the store they wish to browse, as well as connecting customers with their appointed personal shopper or trainer. Several employees will wander around, entertaining simple questions, and carry around a portable scanner, ready to ring through any purchases that customers may have. Receipts are instantly emailed to the customer, and a paper version can be obtained from store staff.

Removing the registers in each of the stores has granted additional space for Apple's retail services, extending the Genius bar in most cases from 11 feet to an average of 35 feet.

Apple wants to maintain a casual feel in the stores, something that is reflected by its customers as they browse, use internet, or bringing their children in to play at the low-legged tables. "We try to pattern the feeling to a 5-star hotel," said Apple's retail chief, Ron Johnson. "It's not about selling. It's about creating a place where you belong."

The company's retail stores have been instrumental in Apple's gain in marketshare, accounting for 473,000 Mac sales during the fourth quarter for 2007.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. DarkVader

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cash?

    So, have they truly done away with cash registers entirely? What if one wants to pay with cash? I'm assuming the handheld scanners don't have a bill and coin accepter.

    Yet another reason to shop at your local Apple dealer, and not the Apple Store.

  1. magicbumone

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    good idea?

    The idea of no longer having registers in the store is a think different attitude but what darkvader pointed out is good. What do they do with people wanting to pay cash. I know most people dont pay cash for their mac computers but people do pay cash for other smaller items. Maybe they still have one register available near the extending the Genius bar.

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cash?

    The new iMacs don't have a floppy drive! What will people ever do without a floppy drive!? Apple is entirely crazy for pushing progression like that. They're going to go out of business any minute now.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: cash?

    The new iMacs don't have a floppy drive! What will people ever do without a floppy drive!? Apple is entirely crazy for pushing progression like that. They're going to go out of business any minute now.

    There are people who, for various reasons, don't like to carry credit cards, or do not have credit cards (not all kids have them, you know). Cash is a medium most stores accept. Unless they've been getting ripped off a lot, there's no reason not to accept it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: good idea

    The idea of no longer having registers in the store is a think different attitude

    Its different. That doesn't make it a good idea. If you just want to pick up a piece of software, what then? Esp. when its busy. You just end up wandering around waiting for some 'personal shopper' to be finished with someone with annoying iPod questions ("OK, now tell me everything different between these two iPods...")

    And nothing reinforces the Mac stereotype and saying "Hey, we're elite" then 'personal shoppers'. Most people don't need a personal shopper (you'd think Mac users would know what they want). And after you've been 'shopped', will they follow you around as you browse other things? Or, when you decide you're ready to check out, then you've got to find someone (who's now helping some fool asking about the differences between the Zune and the iPod).

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Credit cards?

    Who said anything about credit? See there's this wacky new invention called a check card, it's a card issued by your bank that acts like a credit card, but it takes money directly out of your bank account instead. So it's like cash, but faster and easier. It's only been around for a decade or more, I can see how you might have missed it.

    As usual, you haven't put any thought into your argument. Do you think Apple would have moved to this new system if they didn't have a lot of hard data indicating that most people don't use cash to make their purchases at Apple stores? Or do you think they do stuff like this just because they can?

    Furthermore, where in anything you've read did it say that Apple is not accepting cash any more? They said they were eliminating cash registers in the front of the store - they did not say they weren't taking cash any more.

    They had already started this new system when I bought my iPhone. I was looking at iPhones, a guy came over, I told him I wanted to buy an iPhone, he picked it up, scanned it, I gave him my check card, he ran it, and that was it. I was emailed a receipt. Fast, easy and convenient. Now tell me again why this is a bad idea?

  1. howiethemacguy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: cash?

    Not all of the cah registers are gone. Of course you can still use cash at an Apple Store. If you even have to ask, it shows you don't bother to even visit the Apple Stores.

  1. InfraredAD

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ok hold on...

    ahem... one question... when's the last time you paid $2000 or even $100 for an item, in cash?

    exactly.

  1. smsm1

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    check card?

    Over here in the UK we have debit cards that take money straight from your bank account. In fact it has been said that credit cards can be more secure than debit cards as a someone can't suddenly take your salary from your account. Also over here in the UK the card supplier is also responsible if something goes wrong with your purchase, if it cost more than 100.

  1. unity@mac.com

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cash....

    You just had the Apple rep cash and he goes and brings back change if needed. Been there, done that.

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