Apple SVP of retail and online stores, Angela Ahrendts, appeared on stage today at Fast Company's Innovation Festival to talk about Apple's retail ambitions. On Apple's retail setup specifically, Ahrendts said that she views the Apple Store as a product in and of itself. And whereas the company has been great at selling iPhones and Macs, Ahrendts wants to focus on how the company can do better with its other services. From Fast Company:

"How should we handle Apple Pay? How should we help customers download Apple Music? They're not products we're selling—we get no credit for doing that at all. Yet that's good for Apple and the customer." On the other hand, with Apple Watch, she continued, "We did launch exclusively in the stores, because we needed to get the kinks out with this incredibly new form factor."

Ahrendts was also the main driver behind the unification of the Apple website and its online store, which took place earlier this year:

"How do we get our kids who prefer no human interaction into these stores?" Ahrendts bemoaned how fragmented the Apple retail experience has been in the past, with separate from the Apple Store's website, and both those separate from the in-store experience. "I asked Tim a very simple question: Why do we do it this way?" she recalled. "He said, 'I don't know—we've always done it this way.'"

Ahrendts then moves on to discussing Apple's interest in ramping up its presence in China, the company's impressive 81% retail employee retention rate, and how WhatsApp and Snapchat inspired her weekly three-minute messages to retail employees. The full interview is an interesting look into how Apple's retail chief thinks about the future of the company's stores, and it's well worth a full read at Fast Company at the source link below.

Source: Fast Company