As Sales Slide Apple Moves To Revamp Store As Town Squares
Apple whose business model is struggling to deliver growth is set to give their store network a shot in the arm.
As exclusively reported by ChannelNews Apple is set to deliver a series of makeovers for their aging stores with their first Australian store in George Street Sydney set to get a refit.
It’s not known whether the makeover will reignite iPhone sales for Apple who saw their smartphone sales slump over 200,000 units in the first quarter of 2016.
When Apple opened its first location 15 years ago, the company pioneered a spare, uncluttered layout—a look quickly copied by traditional chains and the likes of Telstra and Microsoft.
The stores confounded early expectations and helped Apple become one of the most admired consumer brands in history.
Now iPhone sales are slowing, and the company is keen to upgrade a shopping experience that has lost some of its original magic.
The reboot was led by design chief Jony Ive and Angela Ahrendts, who worked at Burberry before joining Apple two years ago to run the retail operations.
The new stores are supposed to evoke a town square said Apple.
The flagship location, opened yesterday in San Francisco’s Union Square.
It boasts 40-foot-tall doors opening onto the square and comprises five departments, or what Apple prefers to call “features.”
This is where you’ll buy your iPhone, iPad, Macbook or Apple Watch. Screens—”windows” in Apple jargon—explore music, creativity, apps and photography, while “Creative Pros” proffer advice on how to get the most out of your Apple products. You can also buy accessories here.
Only a few select stores will have this park-like space. Featuring round-the-clock free Wi-Fi, the plazas will host live concerts every few weekends.
The San Francisco version is also home to a fountain by a local sculptor.
When Apple reported slowing iPhone sales earlier this year, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said customers weren’t upgrading their handsets as quickly as they once did. The new stores may not get every visitor to buy a new phone, but maybe the experience will persuade shoppers to stick with Apple when the time comes—rather than defecting to Samsung and Chinese brands.
In a desperate roll of the dice Apple is now trying to grow their share in India after China moved to ban several aspects of Apple’s product offering.