Jony Ive & Angela Ahrendts collaborating on an Apple Store redesign to better showcase Apple Watch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2015
Apple design chief Jony Ive and retail head Angela Ahrendts are working together on a redesign of Apple's retail stores --?a different approach that will make them better suited for selling the fashionable Apple Watch, according to a new report.




Details on the collaboration between Ive and Ahrendts were revealed in a new profile on Ive published by The New Yorker. In it, author Ian Parker notes that the two Apple executives are working on an unannounced redesign of Apple Stores.

"The new spaces will surely become a more natural setting for vitrines filled with gold (and perhaps less welcoming, at least in some corners, to tourists and truants)," Parker wrote.

And while Apple Stores are known for their carpet-less floors, Ive did tell Parker that he overheard someone say they wouldn't buy a watch from a store if they weren't standing on carpet.

In the piece, Parker refers to the Apple Watch section of the store as a potential "V.I.P. area," though it's unclear just how much different Ahrendts and Ive believe the stores need to be.




The details reaffirm a separate report from earlier this month, which said that Ahrendts is spearheading major physical changes for Apple's retail stores. Some changes, such as new seating areas, are expected to be implemented before the launch of the Apple Watch in April.

Ive's involvement with anticipated Apple Store changes underscores the important role the designer now plays in virtually all facets of the company. Ive was given greater responsibility at Apple in 2012 as part of an executive shakeup --?one that put him in charge of design of both hardware and software in future products.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,463member
    I'm guessing they have ways of trying them on your wrist that are new and very creative. My mind runs to ideas such as the use of the kind of perspex box used in a clean room where you put your arm through an airtight cuff. Or perhaps holographic projections, although that wouldn't allow you to feel the weight.

    edit: typo
  • Reply 2 of 59
    I thought the Apple Stores usually used the stone from Italy, not the hardwood.

    Watch buying is usually a quiet experience, something the Apple Store is not.
  • Reply 3 of 59
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Keep the hardwood floors Apple is Apple and could be whatever they want. They don't have to pretend to be a jewelry store. Think different.

    I don't like the "V.I.P." idea. The entire store should be fluid.
  • Reply 4 of 59

    I'm thinking a glass walled 'booth' on one wall, specially lit crystal cabinets of watches in various colours/strap combinations, a few open displayed demo watches and with a carpeted seating area - a mini jewellers essentially, perhaps with other personal accessories. The glass wall would keep the openness of the store but cut out a fair amount of noise.

  • Reply 5 of 59
    Having a store within a store is still a half-hearted measure. It's akin to having to wade through the racket of HMV before reaching the classical music section.

    If Apple are serious about portraying the Apple Watch as a luxury item, they have to build their own retail stores for it, or offer it in high-end jewellers.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,463member
    I'm thinking a glass walled 'booth' on one wall, specially lit crystal cabinets of watches in various colours/strap combinations, a few open displayed demo watches and with a carpeted seating area - a mini jewellers essentially, perhaps with other personal accessories. The glass wall would keep the openness of the store but cut out a fair amount of noise.

    They could cool it and sell cigars there too. :D
  • Reply 7 of 59
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Wow this is a new Apple. Took me about an hour to read that New Yorker profile. And on the record quotes from not just Apple executives but some of Apple's designers as well. Dobutful that would have happened under Kaite Cotton.
  • Reply 8 of 59
    irelandireland Posts: 17,295member
    There's nothing like walking on plush, luxury carpet.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    irelandireland Posts: 17,295member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Wow this is a new Apple. Took me about an hour to read that New Yorker profile. And on the record quotes from not just Apple executives but some of Apple's designers as well. Dobutful that would have happened under Kaite Cotton.

    I have dyslexia and it look me much longer than an hour, but it was a great read. Notice all the occasions car design criticisms arose?
  • Reply 10 of 59
    irelandireland Posts: 17,295member
    Having a store within a store is still a half-hearted measure. It's akin to having to wade through the racket of HMV before reaching the classical music section.

    If Apple are serious about portraying the Apple Watch as a luxury item, they have to build their own retail stores for it, or offer it in high-end jewellers.

    Respectfully disagree.
  • Reply 11 of 59

    I agree with that idea of displaying. Eventhough some iterations of the apple watch will be luxury items – if Apple didn`t choose to replicate expensive classical watches, they shouldn`t replicate the point of sale experience of expensive classical watches, too.

     

    In fact i think there are no "cheap" Apple products at all, and when the Apple watch was unveiled, the presentation in those white structures was not taking any "class" from the product. There might be security reasons to have the watches a little more restricted to access, but definitely apple stores should not be seperated into "regular customer" and "rich customer" areas. 

     

    The main apple watch buyers won`t be the "otherwise a rolex watch" buyers but the "otherwise no watch at all" buyers.

  • Reply 12 of 59
    I thought the Apple Stores usually used the stone from Italy, not the hardwood.

    Watch buying is usually a quiet experience, something the Apple Store is not.

    Apple may as well have purchased an existing jewelry chain to showcase and protect Apple Watch inventory. Control of foot traffic is everything.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    Having a store within a store is still a half-hearted measure. It's akin to having to wade through the racket of HMV before reaching the classical music section.

    If Apple are serious about portraying the Apple Watch as a luxury item, they have to build their own retail stores for it, or offer it in high-end jewellers.

    I agree. The watch business will require much more customer interaction by Apple staff. With the wide variety of combinations available to people, sales will take more time and consideration.
  • Reply 14 of 59
    Nothing's changed that matters. Judging by the pictures, these new Apple stores will still be far too brightly lit just like the old ones.

    When I buy, I want to view what I'm considering in an environment like that I'll be using it in. That most emphatically isn't with banks of florescent lights overhead. I don't do brain surgery in my home office.

    ----

    Does Apple really think it can repeat the iPod and iPhone phenomenas with the iWatch? If so, they're likely to be disappointed. The former entered a still-new technological arena and did well what others were doing badly. I know, for several years before the iPhone, I was looking for one that did precisely what an iPhone with apps does. All I could find were cell phones that shilled a cell companies for-pay services. Everyone was gushing about how thin the RAZR was. All I could see was that the stupid thing didn't even offer a way to take notes.

    The iWatch is entering an arena that's so well-established that its last major event was the wrist watch of about a century ago. The watch is miles beyond a mature technology. Real change is perhaps impossible. Most of the innovations the iWatch seems to offer, such as displaying a pulse rate, are niche markets. Practice a bit and you can learn to take your own pulse in about five seconds the old fashioned way.

    -----

    If Apple wants to learn how to sell iWatches, they should watch the opening scene to the movie Twelve O'Clock High. An American officer visiting London after WWII buys a hat and praises the store owner for the enjoyable assistance offered.

    An expensive men's hat, like an expensive men's watch, shouldn't be treated as a mere gadget and passing fancy. It needs to be sold as a special, life-affirming experience. It needs to be sold as "this demonstrates who you are." You can't do that in a brightly lit store filled with people and gadgets.

    Men's hats, we've now forgotten, were once the mark of a man. They told who he was and what his place in society was. To a lesser extent, watches serve a similar role today. I'm not sure Jony Ive and others at Apple quite realize that. They seem stuck on seeing the iWatch as mere fashion, here today and gone tomorrow.
  • Reply 15 of 59
    They could cool it and sell cigars there too. :D

    Or they could exclusively locate in states that are cannabis-legal and sell Apple-branded vaping equipment.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,714member

    The front window display area for my local Apple Store has been barren for weeks.  The Genius Bar in the back where they used to work with customers seems abandoned, like an afterthought, since they have moved that function to one of the tall square tables.  IMO, what they have now lacks the panache they used to have.  It looks exactly like what you might expect to happen over time if left on autopilot, ignored, not given further attention.  Frankly, the Samsung store-within-a-store concept in the Best Buy down the street seems more interesting and inviting, or would if they had any customers in there.

     

    As always, YMMV.

  • Reply 17 of 59
    john.b wrote: »
    The front window display area for my local Apple Store has been barren for weeks.  The Genius Bar in the back where they used to work with customers seems abandoned, like an afterthought, since they have moved that function to one of the tall square tables.  IMO, what they have now lacks the panache they used to have.  It looks exactly like what you might expect to happen over time if left on autopilot, ignored, not given further attention.  Frankly, the Samsung store-within-a-store concept in the Best Buy down the street seems more interesting and inviting, or would if they had any customers in there.

    As always, YMMV.

    Photos or it never happened.
  • Reply 18 of 59

    You won`t buy an Apple watch to inherit it to your children. 

    Apple is not competing in the arena of top prized watches like Glashütte or Jaeger-leCoultre. Plus i think the notion of a watch (or any device for that matter) that stays with you for life, has been long gone, maybe with the exception of non-digital or -mechanical items like rings, necklaces and such.

  • Reply 19 of 59
    What a challenge, indeed. How to accomodate a high-end luxury product into stores that were designed to showcase . . . high-end luxury products?

    My local mall has a luxury section where the likes of Bulgari and Chopard have impeccably dressed and bored staff presiding over beautifully appointed and empty stores. We forget that Apple has historically taken what were criticized as "overpriced" gadgets and managed to pack their stores with buyers.

    As someone said above, Think Different. Customers aren't going to need to have their assets kissed to persuade them to buy watches. Wealthy consumers whose feet are too sensitive for hard floors will order online, or send their personal assistants to rub elbows with the hoi polloi.
  • Reply 20 of 59
    ireland wrote: »
    There's nothing like walking on plush, luxury carpet.

    Yes, I just love being zapped everytime I touch something metal. Best experience in the world. :rolleyes:
    inkling wrote: »
    Nothing's changed that matters. Judging by the pictures, these new Apple stores will still be far too brightly lit just like the old ones.

    When I buy, I want to view what I'm considering in an environment like that I'll be using it in. That most emphatically isn't with banks of florescent lights overhead. I don't do brain surgery in my home office.

    ----

    Does Apple really think it can repeat the iPod and iPhone phenomenas with the iWatch? If so, they're likely to be disappointed. The former entered a still-new technological arena and did well what others were doing badly. I know, for several years before the iPhone, I was looking for one that did precisely what an iPhone with apps does. All I could find were cell phones that shilled a cell companies for-pay services. Everyone was gushing about how thin the RAZR was. All I could see was that the stupid thing didn't even offer a way to take notes.

    The iWatch is entering an arena that's so well-established that its last major event was the wrist watch of about a century ago. The watch is miles beyond a mature technology. Real change is perhaps impossible. Most of the innovations the iWatch seems to offer, such as displaying a pulse rate, are niche markets. Practice a bit and you can learn to take your own pulse in about five seconds the old fashioned way.


    If Apple wants to learn how to sell iWatches, they should watch the opening scene to the movie Twelve O'Clock High. An American officer visiting London after WWII buys a hat and praises the store owner for the enjoyable assistance offered.

    An expensive men's hat, like an expensive men's watch, shouldn't be treated as a mere gadget and passing fancy. It needs to be sold as a special, life-affirming experience. It needs to be sold as "this demonstrates who you are." You can't do that in a brightly lit store filled with people and gadgets.

    Men's hats, we've now forgotten, were once the mark of a man. They told who he was and what his place in society was. To a lesser extent, watches serve a similar role today. I'm not sure Jony Ive and others at Apple quite realize that. They seem stuck on seeing the iWatch as mere fashion, here today and gone tomorrow.

    Blah blah blah. Did you even read the article? Jony and Co. understand very well the history of the watch. But being a slave to history is also not the way to go.

    And the "iWatch" does NOT exist. It's AppleWatch, not iWatch. Get it right.
    john.b wrote: »
    The front window display area for my local Apple Store has been barren for weeks.  The Genius Bar in the back where they used to work with customers seems abandoned, like an afterthought, since they have moved that function to one of the tall square tables.  IMO, what they have now lacks the panache they used to have.  It looks exactly like what you might expect to happen over time if left on autopilot, ignored, not given further attention.  Frankly, the Samsung store-within-a-store concept in the Best Buy down the street seems more interesting and inviting, or would if they had any customers in there.

    As always, YMMV.

    More blah. I'm glad you love your Samsung store. Please go back to Seoul and collect your paycheck now. I highly doubt your claimed Apple Store experience.
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