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Ahrendts aiming at major overhaul of Apple retail

updated 03:04 pm EDT, Mon May 19, 2014

Changes should impact physical, online worlds

Apple's new retail head, Angela Ahrendts, intends to make major changes to the company's operations, sources claim. One example is in China, where plans involve growing from 10 stores to 30 by 2016. That pace is unusually rapid, since the company typically adds no more than 30 or so locations worldwide in a year.

Perhaps more significantly, Ahrendts is said to be interested in overhauling the end-to-end experience, changing elements like product discovery, mobile payments, and interactions with clerks. Things like Personal Setup, phone support, and trade-ins may also be affected. In terms of mobile payments, Ahrendts is reportedly interested in "blurring the lines" between online and retail sales.

Since taking over earlier this month, Ahrendts is said to have reorganized her division's structure to suit her needs. VP of Retail Stores Steve Cano has been moved to international sales; Wendy Beckman and Denny Tuza, the leads for Europe and China, have been assigned new responsibilities. Bob Kupbens is a new staffer and in charge of online sales.

In April, news emerged that Apple was hiring executives for a mobile payment platform. It's thought that the company wants people to shop at retail using an iPhone and an iTunes account, much in the same manner that an Android user can make purchases via Google Wallet.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Is an overhaul of Apple's retail really necessary? I had no idea Apple's retail stores were doing that poorly. I thought they were still bringing in more dollars per square foot than any other retail store on the planet. In that case, they're trying to fix something that's not really broken. I hope she doesn't go messing up things too much. I would think she'd just need to do a little polishing to make Apple's retail store system shine a bit brighter. As a shareholder, I hope she simply takes her time and slowly thinks things out instead of throwing everything away and starting from scratch.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    It's not that retail is doing "poorly" just that it might need a fresh rethink of what they are doing. It hasn't changed significantly since the first store opened.

    The "blurring of online and physical retail" sounds good to me. I've often thought it stupid that I can't order a product and pick it up at the Apple store. I know in some cases you can do this, but most of the time you can't and it's just super dumb that this is the case.

    I'd like to see them pay more attention to repeat customers as well. I buy an iPhone every year, but the one year I miss the obscure announcement of the date sales start, I miss getting one for six weeks because stock was low. After years of buying their products year after year like clockwork, I shouldn't have to get up at 3:00 AM and buy it within the first few seconds of availability just to be sure of getting this years product.

  1. macjockey

    Junior Member

    Joined: 06-23-04

    it's business-like thinking... "more is better"

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    @Gazoobee

    I very much second that .... I think loyalty has to count for something .... some kind of VIP service. It does in most places; Apple shouldn't be an exception. And yes, store pickup should definitely be an option as you do checkout online.

  1. sixmemos

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-06-06

    "It hasn't changed significantly since the first store opened" doesn't sound to me like a reason to change a thing.

    This is easily also the first time I've heard the words "obscure announcement" together with "sales start" for an Apple product launch.

  1. aardman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-18-09

    I love her already, and we haven't even met.

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