Angela Ahrendts, the 'non-techie' who runs Apple Retail, joined Apple on October 14, 2013

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 14
In 2013, the ex-CEO of fashion house Burberry became the third person to head Apple's crucial retail operation for both online and physical stores. AppleInsider talks about why she was hired and what she's done in the five years since.

Tim Cook (left) and Angela Ahrendts (right)


Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, Angela Ahrendts, is unquestionably the most significant addition to the company's executive that CEO Tim Cook has made. Apple is a trillion-dollar business and while it has many sources of income, the company is founded and survives on what hardware sales it makes. Every bit of that is under the control of Ahrendts and her team.

As well as being direct revenue, though, the Apple Stores are also the public face of the company and how they work shapes how the company is perceived. Even if you've never given retail a moment's thought, you know how bad Microsoft's famously empty stores look. Success in retail is infinitely more complex and nuanced than stocking good products.

So each of the people who have run the Apple Stores this far is interesting but Ahrendts got to this position through a career that will be startlingly recognizable if you've followed Apple's history. While she never met Steve Jobs, certain of the challenges in her career and many of her solutions are uncannily the same as he did for Apple -- and she says that, too.

After a fashion

It helps that while Jobs was always in technology and Ahrendts began in fashion, those two industries have a huge amount in common. Retail must have common issues regardless of which market you're in, but fashion and technology are both high-speed industries where products change regularly and often, for instance.

Angela Ahrendts


They're also ones where certain operations both manage and need to keep high profit margins while others are cheaper, mass-market providers.

Fashion and technology are also worldwide industries -- and there's even a history of clones in both.

Angela Ahrendts worked in many fashion companies with various responsibilities but broadly always to do with developing and expanding existing businesses. During these roles with firms from Warnaco, Donna Karan International and Liz Claiborne. she also moved up to increasingly senior positions.

Prior to Apple, though, she was best known for being the CEO of Burberry. This is a London-based luxury fashion business that was founded in 1856 and Ahrendts took charge of it in 2006.

Apple effect

The firm was then exactly 150 years old but it was also in trouble. This is where you'll first recognize Ahrendts's situation: a company that is a long-standing pioneer of the industry was in severe decline. The company's name was carrying less and less weight and when you're selling high-price items, that was significant.

You know that when Jobs famously returned to Apple, he ditched the firm's confusing mix of products and simplified it. In the late 1990s, he focused Apple on just four products: when Angela Ahrendts joined Burberry, she decimated the company's line.




Then while purposely limiting what Burberry sold, she also bought back licences that the company had previously sold for fragrances and beauty products. It's the fashion equivalent of Apple shutting down the Mac clones.

In 2010, Wall Street Journal writer Nancy Hass described her as "transforming [the then] 154-year-old Burberry into a technologically savvy international powerhouse."

By the time she left for Apple, Ahrendts reported increased the value of Burberry's shares three times over to approximately $9bn.

This isn't to say that Ahrendts's achievements are lessened because these techniques are familiar to us. It's not to say that she is some Steve Jobs clone.

However, it's also not a coincidence that her work often took similar lines to Apple's or that she leveraged technology to achieve her aims.

Later, talking to Fortune she credited Apple not so much for its business lessons but specifically for its Macs and iOS. "In interviews, I would say that we turned the company around because of Apple, because of all that their technology enabled us to do all over the world."






As well as using Apple equipment and services, Burberry also partnered with the company on a fashion show. Speaking in September 2013, she explained to Fast Company how her media team was "absolutely blown away" by the camera on the then-new iPhone 5S.

Burberry then consequently used 50 of the new phone to photograph a fashion runway show and streamed it live to cinemas, stores and Times Square.



Non-techie

So here's a CEO who uses technology in-house to build her business and at the same time in public uses it to stream fashion shows to the world. Even so, she told Fortune that she made certain Tim Cook knew she wasn't a techie.

"The very first time we chatted, it was an honor to meet him, but my mission was to talk him out of me. So I said don't believe everything you read: I am not a techie. Honestly, ask my daughter, I am absolutely not.

"And he was so calm. He just shook his head and said, I think we have 10,000 of those, I think we're covered there."

What sealed the deal

Angela Ahrendts reportedly now owns some $11m of Apple shares and it would be foolish to think that money paid no part in her decision to join the company. However, she says what decided her was something much more straightforward and direct.

"At one point [Tim] just looked at me and said, 'You know you're supposed to be here.' And I said, how do you know that?"

"Because I watched your TED talk," said Cook. "And trust me, you're supposed to be here."

That's what got Ahrendts to sign -- and this is what made Cook ask her.





There is a parallel to this from Ahrendts' own choices of people to work with. When she left Burberry, she was replaced by Christopher Bailey, who has been her Chief Creative Officer. They'd worked together from when they were in the company known for the brand DKNY.

"We go back to Donna Karan," Ahrendts told Fast Company. "I was a young president. Here was this young British guy who just started there. He was really cute, and God, he was so talented. All the lights were off in the entire building, and he was sitting there all by himself at 9 or 10 at night, sketching. I went down this dark hall, and this little light was on in this little office. So I just peeked my head in, and that's how we initially got to know each other. I looked in his eyes, and I trusted him."

What happened next

On October 14, 2013, Apple announced that Ahrendts had been appointed. "I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team," said Cook in a press release. "She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis we do on the customer experience."

For her part, she said in the same release that: "I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people's lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company's continued success and leadership in changing the world."

Reporting on her hiring, AppleInsider said that her title of Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores was new. It specifically appeared to give her more control over the retail business than her predecessor John Browett had.

Browett only lasted in his equivalent role for nine months. Before Browett there was Ron Johnson, hired by Steve Jobs in 2000 specifically for Apple's move into retail.

Johnson was therefore responsible, with his team and Jobs, for the gigantic initial success of the Apple Stores. He left in 2011 to join JC Penney though his time there didn't see the same success.

Between Browett leaving and Ahrendts joining, the role over overseeing retail became Tim Cook's. So if you include him and Steve Jobs, a total of four people ran Apple's crucial retail operations before Ahrendts.

Each of these people seemingly had the same job and approximately the same responsibility of getting customers through the door and back out again with lighter wallets and purses.

Yet, coming in as the fifth person is very different to coming in as the first. Ahrendts inherited this worldwide massive success -- but she also inherited the fact that it had been comparatively leaderless for two years. Even though Cook was more than a caretaker in the role, still he doesn't have Ahrendts' experience and he did have rather significant other responsibilities. Consequently, the Stores arguably stalled.

So Ahrendts faced having to keep everything that works well, improving anything that doesn't and then continually revitalizing it all. It's a balancing act where not only do you, as head of retail, have to juggle conflicting issues but so does the company. Ron Johnson ultimately failed at JC Penney because the company didn't go along with his plans, for instance. We won't know if his ideas would've revived that company but its fortunes haven't improved since they got rid of him.

What Ahrendts did

Angela Ahrendts did not do a Ron Johnson and tear up Apple's retail stores in favor of her own ideas. She doesn't seem to have done what Browett reportedly did and cut back on the loss-leading customer support at Apple Genius Bars.

Instead, five years on from her appointment, she appears to have predominantly built up Apple's systems for running and developing retail. In 2015 she did tell the Bailiwick Express that: "We are starting to test some new concepts in some of the new stores. I haven't spoken publicly at all about it because these are pilots and these are tests.

"We're just piloting some things, and I think the overarching thing is I think you can expect the stores to become hopefully a little calmer, but yet a little more dynamic, and maybe slightly more aligned to the same feeling you get when you go into our products. Because maybe the store is really just a giant product."

Perhaps the most visible, outward signs of what Ahrendts has done for Apple are to do with how she's expanded on the way Stores feature workshops and events.

Officially, she's actually at least begun to end Apple Stores altogether. Rather than naming them Apple Store Birmingham, for instance, a shop will now be called Apple Birmingham.

Apple Milan


As well as that removal of one word, there has been attempt to add some more. At points, Ahrendts has spoken of the stores being called Town Squares instead. The idea of communal meeting points amidst the famous wooden tables continues but we do still call them Apple Stores.

However, those Apple Stores have also continued to expand into new territories and older ones have been remodelled.

Apple has no requirement to tell us about the workings of its online store so it won't. However, each time you see that familiar "We'll be back" notice as the online store gets updated ahead of a product launch, Ahrendts and her team are presumably rather busy.



Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,616member
    I think Angela has been a great asset to the Apple team, specifically in Retail. There was a LOT of naysayers when she first came onboard, and I think she's proven them all wrong. I have to think it's no easy task taking something as successful as an Apple Retail Store and keeping it successful, especially when the bulk of retail is faltering badly. At least Apple is trying new, fresh ideas in retail. They're keeping the appearance of the stores current and not just keeping the original look. This I think is what gets a lot of retail in trouble and then when they realize it, it's too late and they don't have the capital to redo all of their stores. 

    Apple Stores are still a huge hit no matter how to put it. They're always full of people and they sell tons of product there. You can't say someone isn't doing a very good job with these kinds of results. Maybe you don't like the way things are going, but that doesn't mean she's not going a good job. 

    Stores today are so much different than they were when Apple Stores first came out. Apple is so much bigger today than it was back in 2001. 

    edited October 14 tmaychristopher126chasmmacky the mackycornchipJWSCStrangeDayslostkiwialbegarcpatchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 91
    macxpress said:
    I think Angela has been a great asset to the Apple team, specifically in Retail. There was a LOT of naysayers when she first came onboard, and I think she's proven them all wrong. I have to think it's no easy task taking something as successful as an Apple Retail Store and keeping it successful, especially when the bulk of retail is faltering badly. At least Apple is trying new, fresh ideas in retail. They're keeping the appearance of the stores current and not just keeping the original look. This I think is what gets a lot of retail in trouble and then when they realize it, it's too late and they don't have the capital to redo all of their stores. 

    Apple Stores are still a huge hit no matter how to put it. They're always full of people and they sell tons of product there. You can't say someone isn't doing a very good job with these kinds of results. Maybe you don't like the way things are going, but that doesn't mean she's not going a good job. 

    Stores today are so much different than they were when Apple Stores first came out. Apple is so much bigger today than it was back in 2001. 

    Well said, Mac. I agree. I think she's done a tremendous job. The stores look better and better each year. I know it's a relatively small thing, but I like the inclusion of the trees and plants inside the stores. (I know not in all stores). I think she brings a certain style and elegance to the brand.

    Best.
    chasmcornchiplostkiwialbegarcpatchythepirateapplehead
  • Reply 3 of 91
    StayPuftZombieStayPuftZombie Posts: 31unconfirmed, member
    What an overly generous puff piece.

    Angela has added some plants, pulled the "Store" off the stores' names, removed lanyards, killed the genius bar and added logistical chaos and worse training to the stores. That's the sum total, other than collecting gobs of ill earned money, of her years of tenure at apple.

    She took what was for many the best retail experience ever, where an apple store was something you enjoyed visiting, and turned it into the DMV.  Now instead of heading for the genius bar for your appointment, you start with game of human pinball.  

    Find an apple employee, with no lanyard as a visual cue, that's holding an iPad to get to your appointment. When you find the first one, you ask for your appointment, and they inform you, theyre not the person for that and send you to another one.  You go to that employee that you think they pointed to, but they're not it either.  Finally you get to the person with the appointment clip board, and they play, let's pick a table.  They send you to some random table and log your name/position.  Now, the genius plays Apple Store Maps.  The "genius" now goes around the table asking for you (mispronouncing your name at times), and sometimes goes to the wrong table because the position was logged wrong. Or a person misunderstood what table they are to meet at. All this wastes both your and the apple employees time in pinball'ing around when everyone could just have instead, clearly and easily, met at the genius bar. Then, when the apple employee finally ends their game of hunt-and-go-seek, you are rewarded by talking to a 'genius' that no longer talks to you like you understand something and 'jumps to the chase' but instead, they walk you through a script process, because now the vast number of geniuses have become equivalent script kiddies. No brain, all script. Oh, and you do this all through intolerable crowds of other now grumpy store goers.

    In contrast, Steve Job's created genius bar was not only a signature feature that she destroyed, but something that calmed not caused store logistical chaos. You just head to the back for your appointment, simple. No DMV zombie human pinball hordes bouncing off each other from 'Angela's DMV Apple Emporium' 'improvements'. Also, it kept all the grumpy people with problems away from the people shopping, preventing the spread of DMV'itus throughout the store.

    In other words, the apple store, the highest earning per square foot retail store in the world that Angela inherted, has been turned into the apple DMV, by angela, that I (and many others https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/15/apple-store-dmv/) want to avoid at all costs.

    My fear is apple managment (and now with the help of appleinsider) are positioning angela as the next CEO apparent, which will be a disaster of the likes to make us long for the days of Skully.
    edited October 14 NoAppleIdolitrymike54retrogustoaknabiGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 91
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,343member
    macxpress said:
    I think Angela has been a great asset to the Apple team, specifically in Retail. There was a LOT of naysayers when she first came onboard, and I think she's proven them all wrong. I have to think it's no easy task taking something as successful as an Apple Retail Store and keeping it successful, especially when the bulk of retail is faltering badly. At least Apple is trying new, fresh ideas in retail. They're keeping the appearance of the stores current and not just keeping the original look. This I think is what gets a lot of retail in trouble and then when they realize it, it's too late and they don't have the capital to redo all of their stores. 

    Apple Stores are still a huge hit no matter how to put it. They're always full of people and they sell tons of product there. You can't say someone isn't doing a very good job with these kinds of results. Maybe you don't like the way things are going, but that doesn't mean she's not going a good job. 

    Stores today are so much different than they were when Apple Stores first came out. Apple is so much bigger today than it was back in 2001. 

    Well said, Mac. I agree. I think she's done a tremendous job. The stores look better and better each year. I know it's a relatively small thing, but I like the inclusion of the trees and plants inside the stores. (I know not in all stores). I think she brings a certain style and elegance to the brand.

    Best.
    I think not being a techie is an advantage. She thinks people, not gadgets – that is why the retail chain is a success. 
    edited October 14 claire1racerhomie3chasmtmaychristopher126svanstromdesignrStrangeDaysadonissmupatchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 91
    claire1claire1 Posts: 479unconfirmed, member
    She's amazing. I have no idea why she gets bashed so much.

    Since her direction, Apple Stores have gotten even less geeky and more open.
    Rayz2016racerhomie3christopher126JWSClostkiwipatchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 91
    StayPuftZombieStayPuftZombie Posts: 31unconfirmed, member
    claire1 said:
    She's amazing. I have no idea why she gets bashed so much.

    Since her direction, Apple Stores have gotten even less geeky and more open.
    If by less geeky you mean more like the DMV, then we agree.

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/15/apple-store-dmv/
    NoAppleIdolitry
  • Reply 7 of 91
    flydogflydog Posts: 105member
    What an overly generous puff piece.

    Angela has added some plants, pulled the "Store" off the stores names, removed lanyards, killed the genius bar and added logistical chaos and worse training to the stores. That's the sum total, other than collecting gobs of ill earned money, of her years of tenure at apple.

    She took what was for many the best retail experience ever, where an apple store was something you enjoyed visiting, and turned it the DMV.  Now instead of heading for the genius bar for your appointment, you start with game of human pinball.  

    Find an apple employee, with no lanyard as a visual cue, that's holding an iPad to get to your appointment. When you find the first one, you ask for your appointment, and they inform you, theyre not the person for that and send you to another one.  You go to that employee that you think they pointed to, but they're not it either.  Finally you get to the person with the appointment clip board, and they play, let's pick a table.  They send you to some random table and log your name/position.  Now, the genius plays Apple Store Maps.  The "genius" now goes around the table asking for you, and sometimes goes to the wrong table because the position was logged wrong. Or a person misunderstood what table they are to meet at. Then, when the apple employee finally ends their game of hunt-and-go-seek, you are rewarded by talking to a 'genius' that no longer talks to you like you understand something and 'jumps to the chase' but instead, they walk you through a script process, because now the vast number of geniuses have become equivalent script kiddies, no brain all script. Oh, and you do this all through intolerable crowds of other now grumpy store goers.

    In contrast, Steve Job's created genius bar was not only a signature feature that she destroyed, but something that calmed not caused store logistical chaos. You just head to the back for your appointment, simple.  Also, it kept all the grumpy people with problems away from the people shopping, preventing the spread of DMV'itus throughout the store.

    In other words, the apple store, the highest earning per square foot retail store in the world that Angela inherted, has been turned into the apple DMV, by angela, that I (and many others https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/15/apple-store-dmv/) want to avoid at all costs.

    My fear is apple managment (and now with the help of appleinsider) are positioning angela as the next CEO apparent, which will be a disaster of the likes to make us long for the days of Skully.

    Agree with all of the above. In addition, Apple store employees have begun to transform into the same type retail robot that you find at a Best Buy. It’s always the same scripted insincere greeting that lacks the kind of personal touch that existed at Apple stores before she was hired. 
    StayPuftZombieentropysNoAppleIdolitrymike54GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 91
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,626member
    What an overly generous puff piece.

    Angela has added some plants, pulled the "Store" off the stores' names, removed lanyards, killed the genius bar and added logistical chaos and worse training to the stores. That's the sum total, other than collecting gobs of ill earned money, of her years of tenure at apple.

    She took what was for many the best retail experience ever, where an apple store was something you enjoyed visiting, and turned it the DMV.  Now instead of heading for the genius bar for your appointment, you start with game of human pinball.  

    Find an apple employee, with no lanyard as a visual cue, that's holding an iPad to get to your appointment. When you find the first one, you ask for your appointment, and they inform you, theyre not the person for that and send you to another one.  You go to that employee that you think they pointed to, but they're not it either.  Finally you get to the person with the appointment clip board, and they play, let's pick a table.  They send you to some random table and log your name/position.  Now, the genius plays Apple Store Maps.  The "genius" now goes around the table asking for you (mispronouncing your name at times), and sometimes goes to the wrong table because the position was logged wrong. Or a person misunderstood what table they are to meet at. All this wastes both your and the apple employees time in pinball'ing around when everyone could just have instead, clearly and easily, met at the genius bar. Then, when the apple employee finally ends their game of hunt-and-go-seek, you are rewarded by talking to a 'genius' that no longer talks to you like you understand something and 'jumps to the chase' but instead, they walk you through a script process, because now the vast number of geniuses have become equivalent script kiddies. No brain, all script. Oh, and you do this all through intolerable crowds of other now grumpy store goers.

    In contrast, Steve Job's created genius bar was not only a signature feature that she destroyed, but something that calmed not caused store logistical chaos. You just head to the back for your appointment, simple. No DMV zombie human pinball hordes bouncing off each other from 'Angela's DMV Apple Emporium' 'improvements'. Also, it kept all the grumpy people with problems away from the people shopping, preventing the spread of DMV'itus throughout the store.

    In other words, the apple store, the highest earning per square foot retail store in the world that Angela inherted, has been turned into the apple DMV, by angela, that I (and many others https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/15/apple-store-dmv/) want to avoid at all costs.

    My fear is apple managment (and now with the help of appleinsider) are positioning angela as the next CEO apparent, which will be a disaster of the likes to make us long for the days of Skully.
    Five posts and a link to the daily caller. Nuff sed.
    claire1chasmtmayracerhomie3macxpresscornchipRayz2016JWSCStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 91
    claire1claire1 Posts: 479unconfirmed, member
    claire1 said:
    She's amazing. I have no idea why she gets bashed so much.

    Since her direction, Apple Stores have gotten even less geeky and more open.
    If by less geeky you mean more like the DMV, then we agree.

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/15/apple-store-dmv/
    Not what I meant at all. Also like the hyperbole in the article. "Apple store is hell on Earth". Meanwhile in North Korea....
    1-post moron see yourself out >>>>
    chasmracerhomie3cornchipJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,595administrator
    What an overly generous puff piece.

    Angela has added some plants, pulled the "Store" off the stores' names, removed lanyards, killed the genius bar and added logistical chaos and worse training to the stores. That's the sum total, other than collecting gobs of ill earned money, of her years of tenure at apple.

    She took what was for many the best retail experience ever, where an apple store was something you enjoyed visiting, and turned it the DMV.  Now instead of heading for the genius bar for your appointment, you start with game of human pinball.  

    Find an apple employee, with no lanyard as a visual cue, that's holding an iPad to get to your appointment. When you find the first one, you ask for your appointment, and they inform you, theyre not the person for that and send you to another one.  You go to that employee that you think they pointed to, but they're not it either.  Finally you get to the person with the appointment clip board, and they play, let's pick a table.  They send you to some random table and log your name/position.  Now, the genius plays Apple Store Maps.  The "genius" now goes around the table asking for you (mispronouncing your name at times), and sometimes goes to the wrong table because the position was logged wrong. Or a person misunderstood what table they are to meet at. All this wastes both your and the apple employees time in pinball'ing around when everyone could just have instead, clearly and easily, met at the genius bar. Then, when the apple employee finally ends their game of hunt-and-go-seek, you are rewarded by talking to a 'genius' that no longer talks to you like you understand something and 'jumps to the chase' but instead, they walk you through a script process, because now the vast number of geniuses have become equivalent script kiddies. No brain, all script. Oh, and you do this all through intolerable crowds of other now grumpy store goers.

    In contrast, Steve Job's created genius bar was not only a signature feature that she destroyed, but something that calmed not caused store logistical chaos. You just head to the back for your appointment, simple. No DMV zombie human pinball hordes bouncing off each other from 'Angela's DMV Apple Emporium' 'improvements'. Also, it kept all the grumpy people with problems away from the people shopping, preventing the spread of DMV'itus throughout the store.

    In other words, the apple store, the highest earning per square foot retail store in the world that Angela inherted, has been turned into the apple DMV, by angela, that I (and many others https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/15/apple-store-dmv/) want to avoid at all costs.

    My fear is apple managment (and now with the help of appleinsider) are positioning angela as the next CEO apparent, which will be a disaster of the likes to make us long for the days of Skully.
    A disaster for who? Certainly not for Apple customers as a whole.

    This entire response is an overt "Back in my day, it was the golden times!" call-back which doesn't make sense in any other context either. Look back to when the Apple stores were founded, and compare user bases, and numbers of users. You're right -- Apple isn't catering to who it used to in 2002 when the concept launched, and, frankly, it shouldn't, because it doesn't need to.

    Apple doesn't need our "help" to do anything, and they sure as hell aren't looking to us for validation. Looking back at your five posts, you lament that Apple isn't aiming products squarely at your needs anymore, and are upset that we aren't defending what you, specifically, want.

    Apple will do, what Apple will do -- and you can complain about it if you want. Why not, I do it.

    Every assertion you have made so far here on the AI forums, I personally disagree with. The only way to get your voice heard by Apple is to vote with your wallet, if you don't like it. 
    edited October 14 claire1tmayracerhomie3macky the mackymacxpressRayz2016JWSCkevin keepatchythepiratedanh
  • Reply 11 of 91
    StayPuftZombieStayPuftZombie Posts: 31unconfirmed, member

    A disaster for who? Certainly not for Apple customers as a whole.

    This entire response is an overt "Back in my day, it was the golden times!" call-back which doesn't make sense in any other context either. Look back to when the Apple stores were founded, and compare user bases, and numbers of users. You're right -- Apple isn't catering to who it used to in 2002 when the concept launched, and, frankly, it shouldn't, because it doesn't need to.

    Apple doesn't need our "help" to do anything, and they sure as hell aren't looking to us for validation. Looking back at your five posts, you lament that Apple isn't aiming products squarely at your needs anymore, and are upset that we aren't defending what you, specifically, want.

    Apple will do, what Apple will do -- and you can complain about it if you want. Vote with your wallet, if you don't like it. 

    A disaster for apple as whole and for customers that like it. Ignoring the erosion of quality at the stores is like the apple press that wrote glowing articles about how sales were up for Skully while the company degraded until it was almost too late.

    Your entire response is one just like supporters of skully provided, congrats for being a living relic yourself.  Pointing to my lack of posts also points to your lack of substance.  

    Your banal conclusion does nothing but support mediocrity.  I have more options that. If enough voices point out, the emperor has no clothes, well realizing you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. Apple's numerous about faces in the face of enough backlash prove how hollow your little spat towards my post is (DVD vs CD Burn, bigger screens on iphones, enough backlash for the non upgradable trashcan mac, etc.). If you didnt fundamentally understand that, rather than resorting to low grade derision, you wouldnt bother writing a damn thing. But I await you taking your own advice, just shut up, and vote with your wallet. Yea, right.
    edited October 14 NoAppleIdolitryaknabi
  • Reply 12 of 91
    chasmchasm Posts: 962member
    I think the results of the Apple Store speak for themselves. The most profitable store-feet in the entire industry, millions of visitors, extremely high customer satisfaction. TrollPuftZombie has issues with reality, not Ahrendts.

    I agree with the comment about her non-techniness being an asset, because it means you focus on people. Her smartest move was that she didn't try and put her ego all over the place; she looked at what was working and left it alone, and made changes to make the place more of a gathering place with low sales pressure, which customers really respond to. Sure, you definitely get greeted when you go into one, but I've always found friendly employees with candid advice and the freedom (where available) to just hang out in the lounge area or play with the machines by myself when I wanted.

    So far I've really liked the changes, including the improved shelving, the massive video display, the carefully-but-subtly organised sections of the store, the easier check-out, the always-willing-to-answer-a-question attitude, the increased "green" reminders -- and in stores that have them, the lounge areas and auditoriums where you can just chill if you like. I've visited stores in many, many US and Canadian cities over the years, and my main complaint is that you never see a sale price at an Apple Store, even on third-party stuff. The bargain-hunter in me doesn't like that, but that's what B&H is for, people. :)
  • Reply 13 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,595administrator

    A disaster for who? Certainly not for Apple customers as a whole.

    This entire response is an overt "Back in my day, it was the golden times!" call-back which doesn't make sense in any other context either. Look back to when the Apple stores were founded, and compare user bases, and numbers of users. You're right -- Apple isn't catering to who it used to in 2002 when the concept launched, and, frankly, it shouldn't, because it doesn't need to.

    Apple doesn't need our "help" to do anything, and they sure as hell aren't looking to us for validation. Looking back at your five posts, you lament that Apple isn't aiming products squarely at your needs anymore, and are upset that we aren't defending what you, specifically, want.

    Apple will do, what Apple will do -- and you can complain about it if you want. Vote with your wallet, if you don't like it. 

    A disaster for apple as whole and for customers that like it. Ignoring the erosion of quality at the stores is like the apple press that wrote glowing articles about how sales were up for Skully while the company degraded until it was almost too late.

    Your entire response is one just like supporters of skully provided, congrats for being a living relic yourself.  Pointing to my lack of posts also points to your lack of substance.  

    Your banal conclusion does nothing but support mediocrity.  I have more options that. If enough voices point out, the emperor has no clothes, well realizing you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. Apple's numerous about faces in the face of enough backlash prove how hollow your little spat towards my post is (DVD vs CD Burn, bigger screens on iphones, enough backlash for the non upgradable trashcan mac, etc.). If you didnt fundamentally understand that, rather than resorting to low grade derision, you wouldnt bother writing a damn thing. But I await you taking your own advice, just shut up, and vote with your wallet. Yea, right.
    I don't even know what you took umbrage about. If I was going to deride you, or start a "spat" it wouldn't have been "low-grade" and you'd know it for sure.

    Anyway, I understood your post completely, but you're still missing the forest for the trees. The biggest mistake that you're making, and you did in your other posts, be they 5, 50, 500, or 5000, is the section I bolded. You're assuming that the majority of Apple customers think the way that you do, and want precisely what you want.

    I do vote with my wallet. I didn't buy the 6,1 Mac Pro. I didn't buy the iMac 5K, or the iMac Pro. I didn't get the "upgraded" Mac mini. And, I've never told you to shut up, and explicitly said that if you wanted to complain, by all means to do so.

    You may have the agreement of half of AI's forum-going population, but AI's readership isn't representative of Apple's customer base as a whole. The irony of all this, is that I probably want the same hardware from Apple that you do. The difference is that I know that I'm not going to get it, and I know why.

    I can tell you with certainty that Apple's customer base as a whole does not agree with you. Apple's direction is proof enough of that.

    This all said, we have forum rules, and they exist for a reason. So, if you want to continue this conversation they might be worth a read. You haven't stepped over the line and are still pretty far from it, but I suspect an escalation is coming, based on the escalation from my post to your response.
    edited October 14 racerhomie3macxpresscornchip
  • Reply 15 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,595administrator
    gatorguy said:
    Delving back a bit, the ACSI index on Apple's customer satisfaction at retail has varied between 88 and 82 (the low, in 2010) since the Tyson's store opened.

    There will be good experiences, and there will be bad. The stores are indeed getting more crowded and smaller stores like Pentagon City before the remodel are being replaced with much larger stores. 

    Holyoke Mall (I remember when it was being built, and worked at EB when I was a teen) as cited in the PED report is always busy, as are my locals, all of the time. There is, however, no evidence at all to suggest that the experience is slipping for the average consumer.
    edited October 14
  • Reply 17 of 91
    StayPuftZombieStayPuftZombie Posts: 31unconfirmed, member
    chasm said:
    I think the results of the Apple Store speak for themselves. The most profitable store-feet in the entire industry, millions of visitors, extremely high customer satisfaction. TrollPuftZombie has issues with reality, not Ahrendts.

    I agree with the comment about her non-techniness being an asset, because it means you focus on people. Her smartest move was that she didn't try and put her ego all over the place; she looked at what was working and left it alone, and made changes to make the place more of a gathering place with low sales pressure, which customers really respond to. Sure, you definitely get greeted when you go into one, but I've always found friendly employees with candid advice and the freedom (where available) to just hang out in the lounge area or play with the machines by myself when I wanted.

    So far I've really liked the changes, including the improved shelving, the massive video display, the carefully-but-subtly organised sections of the store, the easier check-out, the always-willing-to-answer-a-question attitude, the increased "green" reminders -- and in stores that have them, the lounge areas and auditoriums where you can just chill if you like. I've visited stores in many, many US and Canadian cities over the years, and my main complaint is that you never see a sale price at an Apple Store, even on third-party stuff. The bargain-hunter in me doesn't like that, but that's what B&H is for, people. :)

    Wow, another Skully era post.  Since sales went up with Skully at the helm, clearly all his decisions that lead to a horrible version of apple that almost went bankrupt until Steve came back, well they were great.  Because sales mean it's all right.  It's all right that the Mac Pro hasnt been updated in 5 years.  Sales are up.  It's all right that the mac mini hasnt been upgraded.  Sales are up.  Hey, when they didnt listen and kept screens small, sales were really good, so all that was all right.

    And you know, people experiencing (at least in NYC) that the apple stores are the new DMV, no need to listen to that. And my own experiences going to Apple stores, they clearly are functions of delusion and my just not understanding how great the human pinball/DMV experience is. Sales are up.  Skully was totally right after all.  Thanks Chasm for clarifying the that historically relevant metric.
    edited October 14
  • Reply 18 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,595administrator
    chasm said:
    I think the results of the Apple Store speak for themselves. The most profitable store-feet in the entire industry, millions of visitors, extremely high customer satisfaction. TrollPuftZombie has issues with reality, not Ahrendts.

    I agree with the comment about her non-techniness being an asset, because it means you focus on people. Her smartest move was that she didn't try and put her ego all over the place; she looked at what was working and left it alone, and made changes to make the place more of a gathering place with low sales pressure, which customers really respond to. Sure, you definitely get greeted when you go into one, but I've always found friendly employees with candid advice and the freedom (where available) to just hang out in the lounge area or play with the machines by myself when I wanted.

    So far I've really liked the changes, including the improved shelving, the massive video display, the carefully-but-subtly organised sections of the store, the easier check-out, the always-willing-to-answer-a-question attitude, the increased "green" reminders -- and in stores that have them, the lounge areas and auditoriums where you can just chill if you like. I've visited stores in many, many US and Canadian cities over the years, and my main complaint is that you never see a sale price at an Apple Store, even on third-party stuff. The bargain-hunter in me doesn't like that, but that's what B&H is for, people. :)

    Wow, another Skully era post.  Since sales went up with Skully at the helm, clearly all his decisions that lead to a horrible version of apple that almost went bankrupt until Steve came back, well they were great.  Because sales mean it's all right.  It's all right that the Mac Pro hasnt been updated in 5 years.  Sales are up.  It's all right that the mac mini hasnt been upgraded.  Sales are up.  Hey, when they didnt listen and kept screens small, sales were really good, so all that was all right.

    And you know, people experiencing (at least in NYC) that the apple stores are the new DMV, no need to listen to that. Sales are up.  Skully was totally right after all.  Thanks Chasm for clarifying the that historically relevant metric.
    Okay, so I was right. Read the commenting guidelines, and do it now. You're getting a lot closer to that line. Disagreement, even spirited, is fine. But, if you're planning on escalating and are going to be an ass, you're out.

    Anyway, you might want to re-read the history of Apple's decline, and what led to it, in the '90s. It isn't as cut and dried as you think, and there's no one villain to point to. Sculley wasn't really the issue and made a few decisions in a changing market that led to the some problems, yes. 

    Spindler and Amelio were the *really* bad decision makers, and were reactionary to the market instead of predictive. The entire industry is way, way different now than it even was in 2010. Apple, since Jobs' return and now with Cook is not just skating to where the puck is going, they make the shot in the first place -- so your comparison and expectation of imminent doom is a little strange.
    edited October 14 claire1christopher126cornchipRayz2016
  • Reply 19 of 91
    StayPuftZombieStayPuftZombie Posts: 31unconfirmed, member

    I don't even know what you took umbrage about. If I was going to deride you, or start a "spat" it wouldn't have been "low-grade" and you'd know it for sure.

    Anyway, I understood your post completely, but you're still missing the forest for the trees. The biggest mistake that you're making, and you did in your other posts, be they 5, 50, 500, or 5000, is the section I bolded. You're assuming that the majority of Apple customers think the way that you do, and want precisely what you want.

    I do vote with my wallet. I didn't buy the 6,1 Mac Pro. I didn't buy the iMac 5K, or the iMac Pro. I didn't get the "upgraded" Mac mini. And, I've never told you to shut up, and explicitly said that if you wanted to complain, by all means to do so.

    You may have the agreement of half of AI's forum-going population, but AI's readership isn't representative of Apple's customer base as a whole. The irony of all this, is that I probably want the same hardware from Apple that you do. The difference is that I know that I'm not going to get it, and I know why.

    I can tell you with certainty that Apple's customer base as a whole does not agree with you. Apple's direction is proof enough of that.

    This all said, we have forum rules, and they exist for a reason. So, if you want to continue this conversation they might be worth a read. You haven't stepped over the line and are still pretty far from it, but I suspect an escalation is coming, based on the escalation from my post to your response.
    I'm glad youre so "tough" or know me so well that I'd know it.  Yea, I know lots of things, and I don't need your clarification at my umbrage.

    The mistake you are making is thinking what the majority of customers is what counts.  It didnt count that the majority of customers rewarded Skully with the best sales apple had to that point. What he was doing was wrong.  It's fallacy by popularity, and at one point the popular view in America was 'separate but equal' and the vast majority was fine with that. and the country was enjoying good economic times before 1954. It didnt make it right. Nor does youre "everyone thinks so" argument.

    Nope AI's readership may not be the majority, but they are thinking people that probably influence disproportionately.  Much like yourself and your site. You might be surprised that I think AI writers are empirically better than 99% of the garbage tech writers out there.  They know their history. They tend to be able to rub their own brain cells together to come out at an independent thought. They dont often follow the group think. And, they are the exceptions that at least have some familiarity with NeXT history and what it meant. That is my view at least. Further, I tend to agree with 95+% of AI articles and feel no need to post "yep" after them. Although I realize, everyone deserves some good applause, particularly since AI articles are not easy. They tend to be intricate, detailed and I suspect hard worked (at least they would be for me). AI moves thinkers in this industry, and move many pundits that are not so good at independent thought.  And I suspect AI also moves those enthusiasts that are drawn to the high value intellectual capital you put out. And the types of people that are drawn to that and might read here will further have an out-sized effect on others--that's what I believe.

    It wasn't the masses that saved Apple.  It was jobs vision and a relatively small enthusiast/pro class of users and influencers.

    Thanks for marking me as potential forum hostile.  That my opinions and ideas alone earned that honor says something about your need to note it.
    edited October 14
  • Reply 20 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,595administrator

    I don't even know what you took umbrage about. If I was going to deride you, or start a "spat" it wouldn't have been "low-grade" and you'd know it for sure.

    Anyway, I understood your post completely, but you're still missing the forest for the trees. The biggest mistake that you're making, and you did in your other posts, be they 5, 50, 500, or 5000, is the section I bolded. You're assuming that the majority of Apple customers think the way that you do, and want precisely what you want.

    I do vote with my wallet. I didn't buy the 6,1 Mac Pro. I didn't buy the iMac 5K, or the iMac Pro. I didn't get the "upgraded" Mac mini. And, I've never told you to shut up, and explicitly said that if you wanted to complain, by all means to do so.

    You may have the agreement of half of AI's forum-going population, but AI's readership isn't representative of Apple's customer base as a whole. The irony of all this, is that I probably want the same hardware from Apple that you do. The difference is that I know that I'm not going to get it, and I know why.

    I can tell you with certainty that Apple's customer base as a whole does not agree with you. Apple's direction is proof enough of that.

    This all said, we have forum rules, and they exist for a reason. So, if you want to continue this conversation they might be worth a read. You haven't stepped over the line and are still pretty far from it, but I suspect an escalation is coming, based on the escalation from my post to your response.
    I'm glad youre so "tough" or know me so well that I'd know it.  Yea, I know lots of things, and I don't need your clarification at my umbrage.

    The mistake you are making is thinking what the majority of customers is what counts.  It didnt count that the majority of customers rewarded Skully with the best sales apple had to that point. What he was doing was wrong.  It's fallacy by popularity, and at one point the popular view in America was 'separate but equal' and the vast majority was fine with that. and the country was enjoying good economic times before 1954. It didnt make it right. Nor does youre "everyone thinks so" argument.

    Nope AI's readership may not be the majority, but they are thinking people that probably influence disproportionately.  Much like yourself. You might be surprised that I think youre a fantastic writer and think you are empirically better than 99% of the garbage tech writers out there.  You are one of the few that know your history. One of the few that rub your own brain cells together to come out at an independent thought. You dont often follow the group think. And, youre one of the exceptions that at least has some familiarity with NeXT history and what it meant. That is my view at least. Further, I tend to agree with 95+% of your articles and feel no need to post "yep" after them. Although I realize, everyone deserves some good applause, particularly since your articles are not easy. They tend to be intricate, detailed and I suspect hard worked (at least they would be for me). You move thinkers in this industry, and you move many pundits that are not so good at independent thought.  And I suspect those enthusiasts that are drawn to the high value intellectual capital you put out. And the types of people that are drawn to that and might read here will further have an out-sized effect on others.

    It wasn't the masses that saved Apple.  It was jobs vision and a relatively small enthusiast/pro class of users and influencers.

    Thanks for marking me as potential forum hostile.  That my opinions and ideas alone earned that honor says something about your need to note it.
    Actually, I appreciate some of this clarification. Jobs' vision and the small enthusiast crowd did save Apple, that's indisputable.

    However, the market has grown so much from when Apple was selling 16 million devices a year in total when Jobs took over into until just before the iPod eruption, that even if every AI reader influenced 100 people now, it wouldn't make much of a difference, if anything notable at all. While I appreciate the kind words about the my articles, I am under no illusion that I have any market sway or anything along that line.

    To be clear, I don't think you're forum-hostile. I like differences of opinion, as an opinion not challenged is worthless. Just about everybody here, including myself, periodically need reminding of the community rules to maintain order so we can keep doing our jobs, so a redirection is sometimes in order.

    Anyway, I've got a hell of a head-cold, and I think this is going to be a busy week. Until tomorrow.
    edited October 14 christopher126gatorguyRayz2016
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