Apple opens next-generation stores
Apple Stores, already regaled for its top-notch locations, has opened new prototypes that many see as the first inspired by its newish retail chief, Angela Ahrendts.
Many have been wondering how the new concept may evolve to reflect the couture sensibilities or Ms. Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO who joined Apple in mid-2014. Also prominently involved in the redesign was chief design officer Jony Ive, who has been with Apple since 1992 and is famed for his minimalist style.
The first stand-alone store opened last week in Memphis, while prototypes have opened in malls in upstate New York and overseas.
According to reviews, noticeable changes include:
Floor-to-ceiling screen: The main visual draw of the prototype is a 37-foot flat panel television facing the traditional all-glass entrance. Reportedly costing $1.5 million, the screen encased in a black housing fills most of the back wall and shows product videos.
Logo-less design: Perhaps the most surprising change is that the iconic Apple logo is nowhere to be seen. A review by Field Agent, the market researcher, found the lack of Apple branding was the main complaint about the Memphis store.
Wood: Moving on from clinic white, the prototype features unpainted, wooden tables.
Much of the other updates seem as expected. Apple Insider said the high ceilings at the Memphis store feature “embedded light panels and recessed spotlights that illuminate product display tables below, arranged to maximize floor space and achieve a sense of openness.” USB ports and electrical outlets on the tables are controlled by motion sensors to pop out automatically.
A side area, “The Avenue,” with wooden displays enables shoppers to try out headphones and includes shelf space for speakers, watches and other accessories.
In an interview last November at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival, Ms. Ahrendts likened “The Avenue” section to walking through a “small town and looking into each window.” She indicated Apple was looking to merge online and offline, although that isn’t readily evident in the reviews. Other priorities include redesigning the stores around use cases for devices and making the stores more inviting to “kids who prefer no human interaction.”
- Memphis Apple store debuts new chain-wide design – Memphis Business Journal
- Next Generation Apple Store – Field Agent
- Come with us on a journey through one of the first Jony Ive-designed Apple Stores – BGR
- ‘Next-generation’ Apple Store opens in Memphis with custom 37-foot display – Apple Insider
- Apple’s Angela Ahrendts On Where The Company Is Taking Retail Next – Fast Company
What upgrades should Apple Stores consider? Are you concerned about the missing logo, massive video screen and other features already revealed in the new prototype?