updated 03:35 pm EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
Four new Chinese stores in next few months
Angela Ahrendts' plans for Apple Retail include restructuring how stores are currently grouped, sources say. At the moment stores are linked by their geography, such that all the locations in Texas, for instance, are considered within the same region. In some cases that grouping is smaller, one example being the shops in California's Bay Area.
The new plan is to organize stores based on sales volumes -- in particular on how much of each particular product outlets sell. Instead of instituting sales targets, which were unpopular under Ahrendts' predecessor, John Browett, the goal is allegedly to improve shopper satisfaction and streamline operations by giving similar stores similar leadership and promotions.
The sources separately say that of the 20 new Chinese stores Apple is due to open by the end of 2016, four of them should launch in the next several months. These are in Shenyang, Central Hangzhou, East Hangzhou, and East Chengdu. Apple is not ignoring the rest of the world though; within the same timeframe a shop should arrive in Mestre, Italy, and the company has started hiring workers for four more US locations. These include Marlborough, Massachusetts; Virginia Beach, Virgina; Trumbull, Connecticut; and lastly Manchester, New Hampshire.