Angela Ahrendts promotes Apple Retail vision, details renovations in new video interview

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In an interview posted on Wednesday, Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts addressed why Apple Retail succeeds where others fail, and how the overnight renovation of some of the smaller retail stores in the U.S. was proposed, and by whom.




As part of LinkedIn's Influencer Interviews series, with host Daniel Roth, Ahrnendts believes that U.S. malls need to change, or they will lose relevancy. Ahrendts notes that malls that have added more in the way of gathering spaces, food, and entertainment have thrived -- and that is part of why Apple has migrated to its new philosophy.

Half of Apple's employees work in retail, with the total coming to around 67,000 workers. Of those, Apple maintains a stunning 85 percent retention rate worldwide, with retail as an industry only maintaining 20 percent of its personnel year-over-year per store.

"It is a massive part of the secret," said Ahrendts when asked why Apple's numbers are so good. "It's actually interesting that in the U.S. its 88 percent retention rate of full-time employees with are about two-thirds of the team."

"I think that there's Apple values that Steve [Jobs] and Tim [Cook] carry on, the real true values of the company," added Ahrendts. "I think that's a big part of why everybody joins."

"All I wanted to do when I came in is was make sure that they have a voice and that they knew they were being heard," said Ahrendts. "I talk a lot about 'one Apple' that they also ... same benefits, shares in the company, education aid. You can't talk about 'one Apple' and [not] have everybody in it together."

"Share your ideas" is an Apple program, allowing employees to send in what they thought the future of retail should be. This program led to the modification of Apple's retail footprint, that is in progress now. Over 2000 submissions by employees were boiled down to seven pilot programs -- which are being implemented and evaluated now.

Ahrendts also noted that 100 major renovations of Apple Stores are planned throughout 2017. Of those, about 35 will be replaced, and increased dramatically in size.

Addressing the overnight renovation and refresh that happened on Tuesday night, Ahrendts noted that 50,000 beacons were installed in 400 stores, spanning 30 countries. Stores that got the refresh won't be expanded or further renovated in 2017.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    smart cookie that one is
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    smart cookie that one is
    Absolutely. 

    If she wasn't older than Tim then I'd say she's the next CEO.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Adapting.

    It's all about adapting.  
  • Reply 4 of 11
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,789member
    Rayz2016 said:
    smart cookie that one is
    Absolutely. 

    If she wasn't older than Tim then I'd say she's the next CEO.
    Who's to say she still couldn't be? Tim won't be there forever. 
  • Reply 5 of 11
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 641member
    macxpress said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    smart cookie that one is
    Absolutely. 

    If she wasn't older than Tim then I'd say she's the next CEO.
    Who's to say she still couldn't be? Tim won't be there forever. 

    This is a strange world and who's to say anything is impossible.  I agree with Ray though, that by the time Tim is ready to go, she will be really quite old and no longer the best choice.  I don't care enough to look into it further, but I'm not convinced she would be a good choice now.  Apple has the stats to show how the new store design is doing, but I don't like it that much.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Linked in are the worst.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    ireland said:
    Linked in are the worst.
    I thought it was a pretty good interview. 
    pscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,837member
    williamh said:
    macxpress said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    smart cookie that one is
    Absolutely. 

    If she wasn't older than Tim then I'd say she's the next CEO.
    Who's to say she still couldn't be? Tim won't be there forever. 

    This is a strange world and who's to say anything is impossible.  I agree with Ray though, that by the time Tim is ready to go, she will be really quite old and no longer the best choice.  I don't care enough to look into it further, but I'm not convinced she would be a good choice now.  Apple has the stats to show how the new store design is doing, but I don't like it that much.
    I think Jeff Williams is more likely to be Tim's successor, but I view the CEO position at Apple a job that is always being pursued by many people within Apple, so things may change at any time.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,157member
    Geeze, she is smart. Well spoken, and quick on the fly. I really enjoyed that.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ireland said:
    Linked in are the worst.
    I thought it was a pretty good interview. 
    The interview was passable. I mean the company themselves in general. Most of the ways they operate are despicable. I remember they used try to get away for the longest time without any delete account button until they ran into legal trouble—they did this to get registered account numbers up: like, the opposite of what a company like Netflix or Apple might do. Then they added it but like Google tried to hide it away to make it hard to find. Most everything they do is tainted with this unethical, immoral behaviour. Fuckers probably sleep like babies too.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 11 of 11
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,595member
    Enjoyed the interview and insights into Angela's thinking. I thought the interviewer gave her the opportunity to open up about recent and coming innovations, so he did a good job for a short interview. (I wonder how much editing took place?) One problem that I have experienced in stores has been the sometimes incredible noise levels, simply because of the numbers of people present. Apple is working to manage this but perhaps physical separation would help. I remember the theatre in the old San Francisco store - does the new store have one still? As a visitor, I kind of camped in the old store one day as my base in SF (and charged devices). It was brilliant. I've seen the renderings of stores with green spaces but haven't experienced such a store yet.

    Angela said that some of her thinking wasn't 'rocket science'. I'm much more comfortable with rocket science and it shows that the right person in the right position is so important. She probably doesn't have the engineering/technical skills or background to be CEO but I'll bet she would motivate. I once talked with a woman at the Fifth Avenue store who worked both there and a JFK. She would often leave her job at Apple at the end of her shift and go straight to the airport for her shift there. People would comment on her demeanour when she arrived with comments like "what are you so happy about?"

    We have two stores here and I am familiar with one. The street outside can look nearly deserted but the store humming (or buzzing or simply loud). Apple University will have expanded the curriculum with Ahrendts' arrival. 
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