Forbes – If it’s true that consumers today are more into experiences than simply buying products off of shelves, than Apple may be onto something with its new generation design focused on transforming its locations into something akin to “town squares.”
Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, told attendees at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit that the company’s new generation of stores is more about enriching the lives of its customers than simply selling them things. Ms. Ahrendts, as reported by MacRumors, told attendees that Apple’s mission goes beyond simply generating ever-greater profits. “The bigger the company, the bigger the obligation,” she told attendees, going on to explain her vision of Apple’s retail locations serving as places for education and community.
The new stores, as reported by Fortune, will hold what Ms. Ahrendts called “Teacher Tuesdays” to help educators discover ways they may more effectively bring technology into classrooms. The stores will also conduct three “how to code” sessions daily for kids, parents and teachers. Apple already offers summer tech camps at its locations. Creative pros will also be available to help customers learn how to perform tasks, such as taking better photos using their iPhones. These associates serve a function beyond Apple’s Genuises who are on hand to help customers with products in need of repair.
By the end of the year, 95 of Apple’s stores nearly 500 stores will be remodeled to reflect the company’s new vision for its retail business. Among the new community features of the new stores is Apple’s plan to recruit artists, musicians and others to “bring people out of their digital bubbles,” according to MacRumors.
In an online discussion last week, the RetailWire BrainTrust generally supported Apple’s town square concept, pointing out that management is only codifying a strategy they have long been winning with.
“The town square approach is essentially making the current community center mindset more formal,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “I don’t think the ‘town square’ terminology or store layout will dramatically change consumers’ perception of Apple, as consumers are already flocking to Apple store for the experience and education that are a part of Apple’s DNA.”
Read Full Article: Apple Wants More Enriching In-Store Experiences