Ever since Angela Ahrendts joined Apple from Burberry years ago, the executive’s goal has been to give Apple retail a big makeover, changing things both small and big for a better experience.
Ahrendts has talked extensively in the past about the vision she has in place, and what it means to actually roll it out. She has told the world that she sees the retail spaces as something much more, something that’s more akin to a community than just a place people go to buy new products. That has certainly developed, with these retail spaces becoming places where kids can learn how to code, and every other Apple product owner can learn something, and enjoy events.
Now, BuzzFeed News has put together a new profile of Ahrendts and looked into the makeover of Apple retail, showcasing how some of it came together. Ahrendts views things from a “hardware” and “software” level, where the physical Apple spaces are the hardware, and the events are the software:
“This is our hardware,” she said, pointing to the Indianapolis store’s glass doors and indoor ficuses. ”Then you say, ‘What’s the software of the store? How do we turn it on?’ Because this unto itself is magnificent, but it’s not just what it is, it’s what it does,” referring to the new Today at Apple program, under which locations host events like photography workshops and coding classes.”
A lot of things have changed at Apple retail sites all over the world, with more expansive spaces to move around. But, one thing that hasn’t changed are the tables, which, according to Ahrendts, is due in part because Jony Ive told her “not to mess” with them. Ive added that the tables are sacred. Which makes it sound like even if everything else around the tables were to change, even drastically, those tables would be the only things left behind.
“Before embarking on the redesign, Ahrendts consulted creative chief Ive, whom Steve Jobs once called his “spiritual partner.” “In one of those very early conversations,” Ahrendts recalled, Ive “said, ‘Don’t mess with the tables. They’re the same tables we used in our design studio and I love that it goes from the studio to the stores.’ He said, ‘They’re sacred.’”
Apple retail employees seem to be happy as well, generally speaking, especially when it relates to worker benefits:
“All of the employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News agree that Ahrendts improved their benefits soon after she joined in May 2014. For example, Ahrendts introduced restricted stock units, or gifted Apple stock (which could previously be purchased at a discount), that vests every three years. She also extended school tuition reimbursement to part-time workers. Most said they were happy with their pay, which ranges from $17 to $20 an hour for non-Genius roles and up to $30 an hour for Geniuses.”
The full profile, which includes input from Ahrendts herself, can be read through the source link below. It’s an interesting read, especially if you’ve been watching the evolution of Apple retail spaces.[via BuzzFeed News]