Angela Ahrendts reportedly has grand plans for overhauling Apple retail

iPhone and Apple Retail Store

Not even on the job of a month, Apple's new Senior Vice President of Retail is reportedly outlining new vision for the future of the Apple retail empire. Chief among Angela Ahrendts' plans are an expansion in China, improving Apple's limited mobile payments options, and a complete revamp of the highly-lauded Apple Store sales experience.

As told by 9to5Mac:

Three weeks into her tenure at Apple, Ahrendts is already reshaping the retail executive team, visiting stores, and holding calls with store managers. Most importantly, she has outlined a three-part vision for the future of Apple retail: an emphasis on China, mobile payments, and completely revamping the end-to-end Apple Store sales experience.

Ahrendts is also reorganizing the retail store executives, pushing Steve Cano (VP of Retail Stores) to international sales, and expanding the responsibilities of European Retail chief Wendy Beckman. She is also said to "have aspirations for more closely connecting the online and brick-and-mortar Apple retail experiences."

As for the Apple Retail Store experience, Ahrendts reportedly is already holding conference calls with store manages from around the globe, and has been described as warm and welcoming by employees — a distinct departure from former Apple retail executive John Browett.

She is reported to have an eye on "blurring the lines between Apple's online and physical stores in order to improve the overall experience for Apple customers." How exactly she'll manage that, isn't yet clear, but it's clear she's thinking outside of the box when it comes to overhauling how Apple sells what Apple sells.

Source: 9to5Mac

Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, Army musician, armchair pundit, and professional ranter.

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

The Reptile says:

So, she's going Omnichannel. Not a shock. There are a ton of retailers wanting to do it today. Where she'll succeed is that she's got a better IT department to back her up. That said, I'm really happy to see her expand mobile payments. That's long over due. I think a lot of retailers want to see where Apple goes on that front before making any major decisions first. What she does should help all of retail.

khobia2 says:

Looks like she is off to good start. Looking forward to seeing what she will get done.

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Trubador says:

Could they also open an Apple Store closer to me. The two nearest ones are 25 miles south and 35 miles north. Ten miles or less from my home would be nice, thanks! ;-)

KendallFawcett says:

326 miles to the closest Apple Store for me. I'm sure you will survive, Trubador. haha

birdman_38 says:

359 miles for me

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richard451 says:

It's always odd when the new apple retail chief tries ton change the apple retail store, as if the current model needs improvement.

Gazoobee says:

I would say the current retail environment *does* need improvement. In a typical "Appley" way, everything they did to improve the store under Steve Jobs, was "sort-of" successful, but suffered from being both hidden and undiscoverable.

For instance they let you go into the store and buy something, pay for it yourself on your phone, and then walk out the door with it. But the feature is mostly unknown, most folks are terrified of doing it since you could easily get manhandled by a security guard if you do something wrong and there is no in-store information on how to do it.

They also recently tried to address the fact that you can never get assistance in Apple stores, by letting you walk up to the nearest iPad and press a button so that a sales rep will come over to you. But again, almost no one even knows of the feature, it rarely gets you anyone much faster than the typical aggressive bugging of floor staff, and even those that know about it, just don't use it much.

Apple has this long history of adding features to their products in the same way (not announcing them and assuming people will just "discover" the thing), but it just doesn't work for a lot of other situations, retail being one. They go a million miles out of their way NOT to have a simple sign that says "line up here for help" or "take a number for help," (because they think it's kind of tasteless - and it is), but at some point you just have to do what's best for the customer and the business, not what looks cool to Steve Jobs.

RavenSword says:

Why would you want the sales experience to be revamped? Is there something wrong with it?

Rowanova says:

Not really that there's anything g wrong with it, they're just looking for ways to make it even better. We'll all see how much improvement there is when it happens.

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RavenSword says:

The issue could be that it doesn't end up better if they mess with it too much.

Fit24 says:

I'm looking forward to see what improvements and changes are made. :-)

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Lt_Solorna says:

Actually, the current sales experience could be better explained to the greater public. Like how you can set-up a Genius Bar appointment via the Apple Store app and how you can purchase products via the app. Any other stuff Angela is thinking of - I can't wait to see what she has in 'store'.