or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Angela Ahrendts joins Apple, Inc., tasked with polishing flat retail operations
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Angela Ahrendts joins Apple, Inc., tasked with polishing flat retail operations

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Angela Ahrendts has been removed from the corporate listings of Burberry, signaling her move to Apple where she will take over the company's retail and online sales.



Last week, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook noted in the company's earnings call, "we are continuing to invest in our retail stores and since our last call, we had opened our first stores in Brazil and Turkey and we now have retail stores in 15 countries around the world. I'm looking forward to welcoming our new retail and online leader, Angela Ahrendts, who will be joining Apple's Executive Team next week."

Apple has been without a dedicated retail leader since the departure of John Browett, who was fired a year and a half ago in October 2012 after less than a year on the job. For the last year and a half, Apple's retail group has been reporting directly to Cook himself.

Browett had reportedly sought to make Apple's wildly profitable retail operations even more profitable by cutting staffing and freezing new hires, a strategy that Browett himself was said to have regarded as a "mistake" and sought to reverse before his ouster.

Staffing issues persist for Apple's retail store operations



Apple latest quarterly report notes that the company operated an average of 423 stores in the March quarter, 21 more than it had open in the year ago quarter. However, the total headcount of retail employees decreased from 42,600 to 42,400. That means the average workers per store has fallen by nearly 6 employees per store, from almost 106 to slightly over 100 over the past year.

Apple Retail 10Q


While that level of staffing is not significantly different from historical levels over the past two years, it does indicate that one task in front of Ahrendts is determining whether to increase staffing in stores, or to work on strategies that seek to do more with fewer employees.

In some areas, Apple has had apparent success in rolling out technologies like its Retail app supporting user-directed purchases and self-discovery of offers via iBeacons. In other areas, particularly in handling repairs, user complains of long waits or scarce appointment openings suggest that the company's stores could begin a hiring and training a significant number of additional new people.

As the chief executive of Burberry, Ahrendts worked with 11,000 employees and a retail chain of more than 500 locations in 50 countries, a very different operation with far lower staffing levels per store.

30 new stores for FY 2014



Apple earlier announced plans to open 30 new stores--about 20 of those outside the U.S.--within Fiscal 2014, which is already half over as of the end of March.

So far, the company has opened 8 entirely new stores, including Shanghai iapm - Shanghai, China; V?la Centrum near Helsingborg, Sweden; Haarlem in The Netherlands; K?-Bogen Mall in D?sseldorf, Germany; China Central Mall in Beijing; the MacArthur Chambers Building in Brisbane, Australia; Village Mall in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Zorlu Center in Istanbul, Turkey (below).

Turkey Apple Store
Turkish Apple Store in Zorlu Center. | Source: orbaygumus via Instagram


It also intended to remodel or expand 20 existing locations, most of which are in the U.S., including a new flagship store at San Francisco's Union Square, which is expected to open later this year.

A focus on growth in China



When Cook was asked a question about Apple's iPhone performance in China last week by analyst Shannon S. Cross of Cross Research, Cook replied with additional details about retail performance in Greater China (which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong).

"For the first half, including our retail stores, Greater China revenue topped $19 billion," Cook noted. "So this is [an increase of] 21 percent year-over-year, and is our fastest growing region. So, we're looking at this data and deciding to continue investing in a big way.

"We plan to triple the number of Apple Retail Stores [in China] over the next two years. We're continuing to expand in online. We're continuing to build out channels. We're up to 40,000 points of sales now in iPhone, but we're not nearly where we need to be on the rest of our product line and even the 40,000 is a low number in considering the broad landmass and the number of folks in China. And so, I feel like there's still loads of opportunity there, and feel really, really good about how we're doing."

Apple currently has ten stores in mainland China, including the China Central Mall it just opened in Beijing in January. Three existing stores in Hong Kong means there were 13 stores that Cook plans to triple over the next two years in the Greater China region, a plan that would create 26 new locations for a total of 39 by Q2 2015.

This September, Apple should have about 445 stores open worldwide, if its openings go as planned. With around 100 employees per store, that will require the hiring of more than 2,000 people just to staff the new stores opening this year.
post #2 of 53

Welcome Dame Commander! 

But there are people still point out Gender inequality in Apple Board.

 

As iWatch is near completion, I really dont think her Fashion Touch is there on this new category.

 

Edit: She is coming for Retail. Not to fashionize something. :/


Edited by Chandra69 - 5/1/14 at 3:02pm
post #3 of 53
When does she show up on Apple executive page?
post #4 of 53
Please don't be a bozo-ette.
There's nothing your wife/girlfriend/partner wouldn't like more than your 6 Plus...
Reply
There's nothing your wife/girlfriend/partner wouldn't like more than your 6 Plus...
Reply
post #5 of 53

I think the pressure is on her to not be another Browett.  It would also not fare well for Tim Cook's hiring abilities if she turns out to be another dud.  

I honestly think she's going to be a great addition.  She has the chops, the style, and the connection with what's cool.  I think this is one area for Apple where having a woman in that position will really make a difference.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

It will be interesting how her first few months go.  

post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

Welcome Dame Commander! 
But there are people still point out Gender inequality in Apple Board.

As iWatch is near completion, I really dont think her Fashion Touch is there on this new category.
As I understand it she is not allowed to use Dame before her name
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post


As I understand it she is not allowed to use Dame before her name

 

But you’re allowed to use Lord before your name?

post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

 

But you’re allowed to use Lord before your name?


You're really taking my sn seriously? smh.....

post #9 of 53
Apple Stores are nice, but they are still colder than some other stores, simply because they are about tech. They could be a little 'sexier' and even less intimidating for non-tech-savvy people.
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
 

I think the pressure is on her to not be another Browett.  

I really hope Apple / Angie's primary goal is not to make the stores more profitable (I am sure it is not). There really is no need, they are already the most profitable retail spaces in the world. I am sure her task will be far more strategic, and also to re-imagine (don't you just hate that term, by now?) the Apple retail experience for the next decade. I have to say you've got to be brave to take that on considering how well everything is working right now. But the retail stores could definitely do with a bit of a re-think / update.

 

Browett went at his task completely wrong by trying to make the stores more profitable. I doubt anyone at Apple would be the slightest bit impressed had he succeeded. It would immediately beg the question (I think everybody here asked it) - 'at what cost?'. 

 

Angela will not be a another Browett, all you have to do is listen to her speak to know that. Whether she will succeed at whatever she does is another question. I truly hope she will and that she will be around for a log time.

post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
 

I really hope Apple / Angie's primary goal is not to make the stores more profitable (I am sure it is not). There really is no need, they are already the most profitable retail spaces in the world. I am sure her task will be far more strategic, and also to re-imagine (don't you just hate that term, by now?) the Apple retail experience for the next decade. I have to say you've got to be brave to take that on considering how well everything is working right now. But the retail stores could definitely do with a bit of a re-think / update.

 

Browett went at his task completely wrong by trying to make the stores more profitable. I doubt anyone at Apple would be the slightest bit impressed had he succeeded. It would immediately beg the question (I think everybody here asked it) - 'at what cost?'. 

 

Angela will not be a another Browett, all you have to do is listen to her speak to know that. Whether she will succeed at whatever she does is another question. I truly hope she will and that she will be around for a log time.

Absolutely nothing wrong with profitability. The wrong think is that profitability and style or whatever she comes up with would be mutually exclusive. The real trick for her is to accomplish both.

Daniel Swanson

Reply

Daniel Swanson

Reply
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I think the pressure is on her to not be another Browett.  It would also not fare well for Tim Cook's hiring abilities if she turns out to be another dud.  


I honestly think she's going to be a great addition.  She has the chops, the style, and the connection with what's cool.  I think this is one area for Apple where having a woman in that position will really make a difference.  Keeping my fingers crossed.


It will be interesting how her first few months go.  

I agree but I don't see what she or anyone else can do to increase sales in Apple Stores other than to introduce new and exciting products which she has zero control over.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #13 of 53

OK, Angela, take those retail operations and polish them until they are flat! 

"Inspirational phrase here." - Person you never heard of here.

Reply

"Inspirational phrase here." - Person you never heard of here.

Reply
post #14 of 53

Unbuttoned shirt on Angela looks fine, on Browett it just looked stupid.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #15 of 53
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
You're really taking my sn seriously? smh.....

 

You’re really taking his joke seriously? 

 

I suppose I’m a 9’3” power drill.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #16 of 53
Apple Stores are perfectly fine. The most successful retail operation on the planet, per square foot. Don't see why they should **** with the formula. Just keep opening more with a focus on great design.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

Absolutely nothing wrong with profitability. The wrong think is that profitability and style or whatever she comes up with would be mutually exclusive. The real trick for her is to accomplish both.
Absolutely nothing wrong with profitability. I just don't think that will be the driving force. There is a lot more to the Apple stores than making money. Most importantly they represent the public face of the company and I think Ahrendts will be more focused on that aspect.
post #18 of 53
Angela DO NO HARM! The Apple stores are a showcase for all things Apple, they are not BestBuy, Amazon or Walmart.
post #19 of 53

"Flat" retail operations? This headline is deliberately misleading. Sales per square foot are still solid and beat almost every retail operation on the planet.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danox View Post

Angela DO NO HARM! The Apple stores are a showcase for all things Apple, they are not BestBuy, Amazon or Walmart.
Do you know anything about Angela Ahrendts?
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
You're really taking my sn seriously? smh.....

You’re really taking his joke seriously? 

I suppose I’m a 9’3” power drill.

Well, that IS a huge tool.
post #22 of 53
The first thing she needs to do is bring back the check out line. It is unbelievably inefficient to drop by an Apple store for simple purchases. For example try stopping by an Apple store to buy a new iPhone USB cable. Frankly I avoid Apples stores unless I really really need something and don't want to go online for it.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

"Flat" retail operations? This headline is deliberately misleading. Sales per square foot are still solid and beat almost every retail operation on the planet.

 

Sales are flat in the financial sense, as Apple Retail made slightly less money QoQ despite having 21 more stores open. That's actually a significant decrease per store, and quite understandable given that Apple hasn't had a dedicated retail head for a year and a half, nor a good one since Johnson left in 2011, taking several executives with him. It's been on autopilot for 2.5 years!

post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Sales are flat in the financial sense, as Apple Retail made slightly less money QoQ despite having 21 more stores open. That's actually a significant decrease per store, and quite understandable given that Apple hasn't had a dedicated retail head for a year and a half, nor a good one since Johnson left in 2011, taking several executives with him. It's been on autopilot for 2.5 years!

I'd chalk it up to seasonality and the fact that every man, woman and child is aware of Apple's anticipated product releases these days.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
 

I really hope Apple / Angie's primary goal is not to make the stores more profitable (I am sure it is not). There really is no need, they are already the most profitable retail spaces in the world. I am sure her task will be far more strategic, and also to re-imagine (don't you just hate that term, by now?) the Apple retail experience for the next decade. I have to say you've got to be brave to take that on considering how well everything is working right now. But the retail stores could definitely do with a bit of a re-think / update.

 

Browett went at his task completely wrong by trying to make the stores more profitable. I doubt anyone at Apple would be the slightest bit impressed had he succeeded. It would immediately beg the question (I think everybody here asked it) - 'at what cost?'. 

 

Angela will not be a another Browett, all you have to do is listen to her speak to know that. Whether she will succeed at whatever she does is another question. I truly hope she will and that she will be around for a log time.


I did watch an interview of her from her "old" job.  I was very impressed with her mannerisms, clarity of thought, and the way she views the market.  Great gal.  I'm hoping she brings a fresh perspective for Apple.  The stores are crazy profitable right now, but one has to always keep things polished to keep them shining.  :)

post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


I did watch an interview of her from her "old" job.  I was very impressed with her mannerisms, clarity of thought, and the way she views the market.  Great gal.  I'm hoping she brings a fresh perspective for Apple.  The stores are crazy profitable right now, but one has to always keep things polished to keep them shining.  1smile.gif

Just no tartan pattern shirts on the geniuses, please.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Apple Stores are nice, but they are still colder than some other stores, simply because they are about tech. They could be a little 'sexier' and even less intimidating for non-tech-savvy people.

On the contrary: the more intimidating the better. The fewer people there are when I visit, the more pleasant the experience. Maybe they should introduce a quiet hour, where for a fee, you get to browse the shop with just a few people. Problem is, the fee would be astronomical to make up for the lost profits.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I agree but I don't see what she or anyone else can do to increase sales in Apple Stores other than to introduce new and exciting products which she has zero control over.

You'd be surprised. Retail is a dark art.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The first thing she needs to do is bring back the check out line. It is unbelievably inefficient to drop by an Apple store for simple purchases. For example try stopping by an Apple store to buy a new iPhone USB cable. Frankly I avoid Apples stores unless I really really need something and don't want to go online for it.

You're doing it wrong. Apple shops are the most efficient I've ever shopped in-you don't need to queue at all. Just use the iPhone app and you can be in and out in a zip.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #30 of 53
So, New Zealand? There's an Apple store in every tinpot Aussie state capital, but in our nation the size of NSW, not one. Angela, come on! Get us out of the clutches of Apple Australia!
post #31 of 53
Apple Aotearoa kind of has a ring to it...
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"Flat" retail operations? This headline is deliberately misleading. Sales per square foot are still solid and beat almost every retail operation on the planet.

Yep, a plateau atop the highest mountain there is, not too shabby..
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless View Post

So, New Zealand? There's an Apple store in every tinpot Aussie state capital, but in our nation the size of NSW, not one. Angela, come on! Get us out of the clutches of Apple Australia!

Sorry, I know it shouldn't have as you are being serious on a serious point, but your description of the great land of Oz next door made me smile ... I had this instant image of Crocodile Dundee with an Apple Store, in some windswept outback wilderness, looking at a new Mac Pro and saying .... "Now that's a computer!'
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


I did watch an interview of her from her "old" job.  I was very impressed with her mannerisms, clarity of thought, and the way she views the market.  Great gal.  I'm hoping she brings a fresh perspective for Apple.  The stores are crazy profitable right now, but one has to always keep things polished to keep them shining.  1smile.gif
I hope she's allowed to just do her job. She was hired to run retail. Not be Apple's spokesperson, or product designer or marketer. Besides there's plenty to do on the retail side. Apple retail is basically the same as it was when it launched. In the retail space you have to keep reinventing yourself. I'm very interested to see what her vision is for retail and online stores. Having someone like her on board sure has to be a morale booster for retail employees.
post #35 of 53

Ah, "Polishing", the cutesy apple references just never get old do they?

post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The first thing she needs to do is bring back the check out line. It is unbelievably inefficient to drop by an Apple store for simple purchases. For example try stopping by an Apple store to buy a new iPhone USB cable. Frankly I avoid Apples stores unless I really really need something and don't want to go online for it.

There's an app for that.

post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danox View Post

Angela DO NO HARM! The Apple stores are a showcase for all things Apple, they are not BestBuy, Amazon or Walmart.

You could look into her background before posting nonsense.

post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Apple Stores are nice, but they are still colder than some other stores, simply because they are about tech. They could be a little 'sexier' and even less intimidating for non-tech-savvy people.

If I was a sarcastic person I would point out they're the world's leading consumer tech company. However, it is a valid point, one that I don't agree with. I think a big part of the Apple "brand" is it's clean, high quality, tightly focused product line and consumer experience, something the stores deliver beautifully. What some might consider boring, most Apple customers consider a reflection of this Apple philosophy/approach.

post #39 of 53

Apple Retail needs to balance speed with user experience. 

 

If you have a problem with your Apple device a Genius Bar that is on time and effective is going to have a happy customer leaving. 

 

People walking in looking for products  want clarity.   Apple stores have improved over the years in this arena.  Gone are the stations with microphones and keyboards that few people knew how to operate. 

 

As devices get smaller (read wearables) Apple's stores will have to adapt.  How can they show me an iWatch without risking hundreds being stolen off a shelf or from a table a year?   

 

How can they make it easier for me to place an order from my phone and have it ready as I walk through the front door? 

 

How can they offer me training that I can get value from without me disturbing or being disturbed by others? 

 

I'm excited to see what she can do. 

He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post


Do you know anything about Angela Ahrendts?

 

What is there to know?, I don't care about her past, while at Apple she had better, DO NO HARM! The last person (fellow Brit) from Dixon's failed.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Angela Ahrendts joins Apple, Inc., tasked with polishing flat retail operations