Apple to launch 'Today at Apple' retail sessions in late May [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2017
Towards the end of May Apple plans to launch a new series of education sessions at its stores dubbed "Today at Apple," retail head Angela Ahrendts revealed on Tuesday. [Updated with official session details]




The program will roll out across all of Apple's locations, Ahrendts told CBS News, in an effort to manufacture "town squares" where customers engage with their communities -- and their devices. The executive provided few other details, but store visitors should be able to attend classes and other experiences, for instance taking advantage of Apple's new "creative pro" staffers skilled in fields like music and photography.

"A lot of the big online guys have said they're opening stores," Ahrendts commented. "Amazon's investing in stores. Google's investing in stores. ...Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for - right? 'Meet me at Starbucks.'

"And you know, I've told the teams, 'I'll know we've done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, "Meet me at Apple. Did you see what's going on at Apple today?"'"

The company has long held workshops and other events at its stores, and it's not yet clear how Today at Apple will distinguish itself.

Under Ahrendts, Apple has been overhauling the design and operations of its retail chain, with many shops adding trees, wooden shelves, oversized video screens, and new conference rooms, as well as new work roles. More controversially however, the company is allegedly cutting a number of business and events jobs.

Update: In a follow-up press release, Apple explained that there will be more than 60 different sessions, such as Studio Hours, in which creative pros will discuss topics like art, design, and presentations, and offer advice on personal projects people bring in.

Photo and Sketch Walks will take people outside the store to improve their drawing, painting, or photography. Similarly, Photo Labs will bring in photographers for hands-on sessions, and Music Labs will do the same for musicians. "Pro Series" events will offer instruction in Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.

Other offerings will include Coding sessions teaching people basic programming through Swift Playgrounds, and the Kids Hour, alternating its focus on coding, GarageBand, and iMovie.

"Select" stores will get Perspectives and Performances -- artists and musicians talking about their work and/or putting on a show.

Teacher Tuesdays, lastly, will encourage teachers to incorporate Apple technology into classrooms, and Business Circuits will connect small business owners with entrepreneurs.

To accommodate Today at Apple, stores will be getting new mobile "forum displays," along with updated seating and sound fixtures.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,270member
    Interesting!   As business news is filled with reports of the demise and/or shrinkage of brick & mortar stores (Sears, Macy's, KMart, Penny's, etc....) and associated malls, Apple and other tech giants are expanding theirs!

    But, from this article, it sounds like Apple has it right (at least in concept):   focus the store around helping the user rather than selling product....   Very simply, Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store.   But, they can't do the things that Apple is talking about here -- and that has always been at the heart of Apple:  Not to push its products but to push what those products will do for you...

    Apple knows that its heart and soul are in the user, not the product.
    lkruppalbegarcpatchythepiratedysamoriawatto_cobraargonautlostkiwi
  • Reply 2 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    FYI, the fine print at the end of the press released indicates some of this is only coming to select stores. I'm assuming the mall stores that haven't been redesigned yet will be the last to get some of this stuff.
    macxpressGeorgeBMacalbegarcdysamorialostkiwi
  • Reply 3 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    My one concern with this is...stores are sometimes full as it is and very loud. I'd hate to be trying to hear a presenter over top of the noise from the store. I don't know how this would work in certain stores.
    Interesting!   As business news is filled with reports of the demise and/or shrinkage of brick & mortar stores (Sears, Macy's, KMart, Penny's, etc....) and associated malls, Apple and other tech giants are expanding theirs!

    But, from this article, it sounds like Apple has it right (at least in concept):   focus the store around helping the user rather than selling product....   Very simply, Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store.   But, they can't do the things that Apple is talking about here -- and that has always been at the heart of Apple:  Not to push its products but to push what those products will do for you...

    Apple knows that its heart and soul are in the user, not the product.
    I agree! I think these stores that are struggling need to take notice and try things. Obviously you need to do more than just make the store pretty and throw products on the shelves. You have to give them a reason to visit and actually buy something. I still firmly believe stores like JCP, Macy's, Hollister, etc need to exist. I don't like buying clothes and things like this online. I want to see it in person, possibly try it on and then make a purchase. I'd rather not fool around with buying something, making a guess on the size and how it fits and then not liking it, sending it back, waiting for a credit, etc. Too much of a hassle for me. There's a place for these stores...they just need to rethink how their stores function.
    calimike1GeorgeBMacalbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    FYI, the fine print at the end of the press released indicates some of this is only coming to select stores. I'm assuming the mall stores that haven't been redesigned yet will be the last to get some of this stuff.
    This makes sense. In the Apple Store  I go to (Apple Store Eastview) you could never do this unless you closed the store down to only people wanting to attend a particular session which wouldn't t all be a good idea for Apple to do. If it were a large store, you could close off a section of the store to only people wanting to attend a particular session which makes much more sense to me. Business as usual could continue without interrupting anyone. 
    albegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    ...Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for - right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks.’ And you know, I've told the teams, 'I'll know we've done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, "Meet me at Apple. Did you see what's going on at Apple today?"'"

    Update: In a follow-up press release, Apple explained that there will be more than 60 different sessions, such as Studio Hours, in which creative pros will discuss topics like art, design, and presentations, and offer advice on personal projects people bring in. Photo and Sketch Walks will take people outside the store to improve their drawing, painting, or photography. Similarly, Photo Labs will bring in photographers for hands-on sessions, and Music Labs will do the same for musicians. “Pro Series" events will offer instruction in Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X. Other offerings will include Coding sessions teaching people basic programming through Swift Playgrounds, and the Kids Hour, alternating its focus on coding, GarageBand, and iMovie. “Select" stores will get Perspectives and Performances -- artists and musicians talking about their work and/or putting on a show. Teacher Tuesdays, lastly, will encourage teachers to incorporate Apple technology into classrooms, and Business Circuits will connect small business owners with entrepreneurs.
    The first part threw me as a bad idea, but with Apple explaining WHAT will draw people to their locations, I think this might work a bit. It’s a more specific reason to gather than just being some millennial (ugh) hang zone (wait, doesn’t that phrase date me more?), so it will draw a more focused clientele.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 21
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Awesome!

    while reading the article I couldn't stop thinking that Apple could really acquire Adobe/Photoshop.
    (yeah I know another acquisition request) but it really fits this idea.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    cali said:
    while reading the article I couldn't stop thinking that Apple could really acquire Adobe/Photoshop.
    I’d rather Adobe just be taken down a peg through actual competition. They shouldn’t be rewarded for their behavior (through an acquisition). Apple doesn’t seem to care much about that kind of software anymore, though.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 21
    macxpress said:
    I agree! I think these stores that are struggling need to take notice and try things. Obviously you need to do more than just make the store pretty and throw products on the shelves. You have to give them a reason to visit and actually buy something. I still firmly believe stores like JCP, Macy's, Hollister, etc need to exist. I don't like buying clothes and things like this online. I want to see it in person, possibly try it on and then make a purchase. I'd rather not fool around with buying something, making a guess on the size and how it fits and then not liking it, sending it back, waiting for a credit, etc. Too much of a hassle for me. There's a place for these stores...they just need to rethink how their stores function.
    I know of at least one location where only a few yards away, there is a Microsoft store where the staff outnumber the customers. Perhaps Apple should offer to take over the lease? :) :smiley:
    In many Mall locations there are oten retail units going cheap for things like 'popup' stores. Again, perhaps Apple can work with the Mall operators to use them for these sessions. After all, they would be getting more footfall into the Mall...
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    macxpress said:
    I agree! I think these stores that are struggling need to take notice and try things. Obviously you need to do more than just make the store pretty and throw products on the shelves. You have to give them a reason to visit and actually buy something. I still firmly believe stores like JCP, Macy's, Hollister, etc need to exist. I don't like buying clothes and things like this online. I want to see it in person, possibly try it on and then make a purchase. I'd rather not fool around with buying something, making a guess on the size and how it fits and then not liking it, sending it back, waiting for a credit, etc. Too much of a hassle for me. There's a place for these stores...they just need to rethink how their stores function.
    I know of at least one location where only a few yards away, there is a Microsoft store where the staff outnumber the customers. Perhaps Apple should offer to take over the lease? :) :smiley:
    In many Mall locations there are oten retail units going cheap for things like 'popup' stores. Again, perhaps Apple can work with the Mall operators to use them for these sessions. After all, they would be getting more footfall into the Mall...
    I think the idea is to get people into their stores...not to have little pop up shops here or there. 


    On a different note...I still don't know the actual purpose of a Microsoft Store. To me, they serve no purpose at all and they only did it because Apple was successful with their retail efforts. I realize these stores aren't created to make them money in the store, but honestly I see no reason for these to exist. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Interesting!   As business news is filled with reports of the demise and/or shrinkage of brick & mortar stores (Sears, Macy's, KMart, Penny's, etc....) and associated malls, Apple and other tech giants are expanding theirs!

    But, from this article, it sounds like Apple has it right (at least in concept):   focus the store around helping the user rather than selling product....   Very simply, Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store.   But, they can't do the things that Apple is talking about here -- and that has always been at the heart of Apple:  Not to push its products but to push what those products will do for you...

    Apple knows that its heart and soul are in the user, not the product.

    Spot on analysis of Apple's Concept and its potential!

    The only issue I have with your post is: "Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store".

    While Amazon offer's some excellent services like same-day delivery, free delivery on some items, recourse/returns, good prices, user ratings/answered questions. etc...  Often, Amazon prices are 
    higher than local stick and stucco stores.  More and more I use the Amazon site to Showroom a product (determine it's capabilities, value, comps) then purchase the product at the local store.

    As to the Today At Apple concept...  

    In the 1970s-1980s, when we owned Computer Stores (mainly Apple products) we offered Hands-on Checkout Training sessions at time of purchase, scheduled BYOD Tips & Techniques sessions after purchase, and various Product sessions on a weekly basis -- there was always something going on at Computer Plus... It also helped that we'd get frequent visits from Woz, Hertzfeld, Atkinson, and the like... Help from Cap'n Crunch (John Draper) not so much.

    It really does work!

    Now, when are they going to open a Today At Apple Store in Brentwood, CA (SF East Bay) -- I'm looking forward to attending a Rave there  :)

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,499member
    Interesting!   As business news is filled with reports of the demise and/or shrinkage of brick & mortar stores (Sears, Macy's, KMart, Penny's, etc....) and associated malls, Apple and other tech giants are expanding theirs!

    But, from this article, it sounds like Apple has it right (at least in concept):   focus the store around helping the user rather than selling product....   Very simply, Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store.   But, they can't do the things that Apple is talking about here -- and that has always been at the heart of Apple:  Not to push its products but to push what those products will do for you...

    Apple knows that its heart and soul are in the user, not the product.

    Spot on analysis of Apple's Concept and its potential!

    The only issue I have with your post is: "Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store".

    While Amazon offer's some excellent services like same-day delivery, free delivery on some items, recourse/returns, good prices, user ratings/answered questions. etc...  Often, Amazon prices are higher than local stick and stucco stores.  More and more I use the Amazon site to Showroom a product (determine it's capabilities, value, comps) then purchase the product at the local store.

    As to the Today At Apple concept...  

    In the 1970s-1980s, when we owned Computer Stores (mainly Apple products) we offered Hands-on Checkout Training sessions at time of purchase, scheduled BYOD Tips & Techniques sessions after purchase, and various Product sessions on a weekly basis -- there was always something going on at Computer Plus... It also helped that we'd get frequent visits from Woz, Hertzfeld, Atkinson, and the like... Help from Cap'n Crunch (John Draper) not so much.

    It really does work!

    Now, when are they going to open a Today At Apple Store in Brentwood, CA (SF East Bay) -- I'm looking forward to attending a Rave there  :)

    Could you elaborate on this "Amazon site to Showroom"? How does this work?
  • Reply 12 of 21
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,343member
    FYI, the fine print at the end of the press released indicates some of this is only coming to select stores. I'm assuming the mall stores that haven't been redesigned yet will be the last to get some of this stuff.
    I presume my "belly button of the USA" (not as egregious as the armpit but still full of backwards unpleasantness) Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania mall-based Apple Store won't get this stuff, then.

    Too bad. I'd be interested in the Logic X events... if they're affordable. What do these events cost?
  • Reply 13 of 21
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,343member

    ...Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for - right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks.’ And you know, I've told the teams, 'I'll know we've done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, "Meet me at Apple. Did you see what's going on at Apple today?"'"

    Update: In a follow-up press release, Apple explained that there will be more than 60 different sessions, such as Studio Hours, in which creative pros will discuss topics like art, design, and presentations, and offer advice on personal projects people bring in. Photo and Sketch Walks will take people outside the store to improve their drawing, painting, or photography. Similarly, Photo Labs will bring in photographers for hands-on sessions, and Music Labs will do the same for musicians. “Pro Series" events will offer instruction in Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X. Other offerings will include Coding sessions teaching people basic programming through Swift Playgrounds, and the Kids Hour, alternating its focus on coding, GarageBand, and iMovie. “Select" stores will get Perspectives and Performances -- artists and musicians talking about their work and/or putting on a show. Teacher Tuesdays, lastly, will encourage teachers to incorporate Apple technology into classrooms, and Business Circuits will connect small business owners with entrepreneurs.
    The first part threw me as a bad idea, but with Apple explaining WHAT will draw people to their locations, I think this might work a bit. It’s a more specific reason to gather than just being some millennial (ugh) hang zone (wait, doesn’t that phrase date me more?), so it will draw a more focused clientele.
    Almost every reference I see to "Millennials" is pejorative. Usually the source of said commentaries are doing classic psychology "projection" (especially when saying millennials are "entitled"), and are looking to scapegoat someone.

    If you're just describing a group by age (not attitudes), you're fine. Labels can be useful when not used in a derogatory manner.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,343member
    Interesting!   As business news is filled with reports of the demise and/or shrinkage of brick & mortar stores (Sears, Macy's, KMart, Penny's, etc....) and associated malls, Apple and other tech giants are expanding theirs!

    But, from this article, it sounds like Apple has it right (at least in concept):   focus the store around helping the user rather than selling product....   Very simply, Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store.   But, they can't do the things that Apple is talking about here -- and that has always been at the heart of Apple:  Not to push its products but to push what those products will do for you...

    Apple knows that its heart and soul are in the user, not the product.
    If only they understood that making the product BETTER was the most vital part of respecting the users. iOS 7 set dangerous precedents for usability that still haven't been corrected today almost four full iOS generations later (I point you to the horribly broken text selection and autocorrect reliability in Safari on iOS since iOS 7, as one example of many). When all kinds of bugs are creeping in, it changes the user's experience from one of learning and growing into constant self-doubt ("WTF am I doing wrong???!!") and irritation ("It won't do what I WANT it to do!!"). 
  • Reply 15 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    dysamoria said:
    FYI, the fine print at the end of the press released indicates some of this is only coming to select stores. I'm assuming the mall stores that haven't been redesigned yet will be the last to get some of this stuff.
    I presume my "belly button of the USA" (not as egregious as the armpit but still full of backwards unpleasantness) Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania mall-based Apple Store won't get this stuff, then.

    Too bad. I'd be interested in the Logic X events... if they're affordable. What do these events cost?
    I'd assume these are free events. You may still have to sign up for it, but I bet it will be free like everything else. 
  • Reply 16 of 21
    The only issue I have with your post is: "Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store".

    While Amazon offer's some excellent services like same-day delivery, free delivery on some items, recourse/returns, good prices, user ratings/answered questions. etc...  Often, Amazon prices are higher than local stick and stucco stores.  More and more I use the Amazon site to Showroom a product (determine it's capabilities, value, comps) then purchase the product at the local store.
    Could you elaborate on this "Amazon site to Showroom"? How does this work?
    Sure!  We had our redwood fence replaced and decided to keep some of the beautiful silver weathered boards for DIY upcycling. I have a Shopsmith & accessories in one bay of a 3-car garage. We power-washed, then stacked and stickersed ~300 board feet of 1"x6"x5' fence boards.  Lots of projects in the works -- rustic kitchen table, picture frames, coffee & end tables,  bathroom vanity, wood wall, outside furniture, planters, raised planter beds....

    Anyway I decided to buy some new tools to supplement the Shopsmith for the grandkids and me -- so far some tools (wheel sander, 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Miter Saw Stand, Finish Nailer, Jig Saw, rotary tool set...).

    So, I go to the Amazon site and:
    • search for a product, e.g. Compound Miter Saw
    • select a product that looks interesting
    • select Compare with similar items
    • review the customer ratings and questions to narrow the selection
    • select See more product details to refine the selection
    • rinse and repeat as necessary

    Then when I have it narrowed down to one or more choices, I go to the Lowes and Home Depot web sites to see how they compare (I may read their reviews, too)...

    If what I seek is currently available in-store, at the right price (including tax and shipping), I'll visit the store -- and usually buy a product after touchy-feely examination of the 
    various choices.

    Often, the stick & stucco stores will have specials: reduced price; included accessories; open box specials, etc.

    So, rather than driving around from store to store to review and choose products -- I do that online, then go to the physical store to actually choose/buy my choice... saving both time and money (including gas money)  -- getting store card credits and CC cashback rewards.

    edited April 2017
  • Reply 17 of 21
    macxpress said:
    dysamoria said:
    FYI, the fine print at the end of the press released indicates some of this is only coming to select stores. I'm assuming the mall stores that haven't been redesigned yet will be the last to get some of this stuff.
    I presume my "belly button of the USA" (not as egregious as the armpit but still full of backwards unpleasantness) Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania mall-based Apple Store won't get this stuff, then.

    Too bad. I'd be interested in the Logic X events... if they're affordable. What do these events cost?
    I'd assume these are free events. You may still have to sign up for it, but I bet it will be free like everything else. 
    If done right, the events will be free, including 3rd-party presenters as well as Apple presenters.

    The companies with Apple-compatible products will line up (die for the opportunity) to present to a captive audience of qualified customers (money to spend and willingness to spend it).

    edited April 2017
  • Reply 18 of 21
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,270member
    Interesting!   As business news is filled with reports of the demise and/or shrinkage of brick & mortar stores (Sears, Macy's, KMart, Penny's, etc....) and associated malls, Apple and other tech giants are expanding theirs!

    But, from this article, it sounds like Apple has it right (at least in concept):   focus the store around helping the user rather than selling product....   Very simply, Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store.   But, they can't do the things that Apple is talking about here -- and that has always been at the heart of Apple:  Not to push its products but to push what those products will do for you...

    Apple knows that its heart and soul are in the user, not the product.

    Spot on analysis of Apple's Concept and its potential!

    The only issue I have with your post is: "Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store".

    While Amazon offer's some excellent services like same-day delivery, free delivery on some items, recourse/returns, good prices, user ratings/answered questions. etc...  Often, Amazon prices are 
    higher than local stick and stucco stores.  More and more I use the Amazon site to Showroom a product (determine it's capabilities, value, comps) then purchase the product at the local store.

    As to the Today At Apple concept...  

    In the 1970s-1980s, when we owned Computer Stores (mainly Apple products) we offered Hands-on Checkout Training sessions at time of purchase, scheduled BYOD Tips & Techniques sessions after purchase, and various Product sessions on a weekly basis -- there was always something going on at Computer Plus... It also helped that we'd get frequent visits from Woz, Hertzfeld, Atkinson, and the like... Help from Cap'n Crunch (John Draper) not so much.

    It really does work!

    Now, when are they going to open a Today At Apple Store in Brentwood, CA (SF East Bay) -- I'm looking forward to attending a Rave there  :)

    Good point on Amazon!   I don't shop there either (unless I need a newish book).  But, it does seem to be taking a toll on the brick and mortar stores...
    Essentially, I buy food & gas at brick and mortar and the only other stores I enter are the Apple Store and my local bike and running stores.   Everything else comes from EBay.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,270member
    The only issue I have with your post is: "Amazon & EBay can sell products as well or better than any brick & mortar store".

    While Amazon offer's some excellent services like same-day delivery, free delivery on some items, recourse/returns, good prices, user ratings/answered questions. etc...  Often, Amazon prices are higher than local stick and stucco stores.  More and more I use the Amazon site to Showroom a product (determine it's capabilities, value, comps) then purchase the product at the local store.
    Could you elaborate on this "Amazon site to Showroom"? How does this work?
    Sure!  We had our redwood fence replaced and decided to keep some of the beautiful silver weathered boards for DIY upcycling. I have a Shopsmith & accessories in one bay of a 3-car garage. We power-washed, then stacked and stickersed ~300 board feet of 1"x6"x5' fence boards.  Lots of projects in the works -- rustic kitchen table, picture frames, coffee & end tables,  bathroom vanity, wood wall, outside furniture, planters, raised planter beds....

    Anyway I decided to buy some new tools to supplement the Shopsmith for the grandkids and me -- so far some tools (wheel sander, 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Miter Saw Stand, Finish Nailer, Jig Saw, rotary tool set...).

    So, I go to the Amazon site and:
    • search for a product, e.g. Compound Miter Saw
    • select a product that looks interesting
    • select Compare with similar items
    • review the customer ratings and questions to narrow the selection
    • select See more product details to refine the selection
    • rinse and repeat as necessary

    Then when I have it narrowed down to one or more choices, I go to the Lowes and Home Depot web sites to see how they compare (I may read their reviews, too)...

    If what I seek is currently available in-store, at the right price (including tax and shipping), I'll visit the store -- and usually buy a product after touchy-feely examination of the 
    various choices.

    Often, the stick & stucco stores will have specials: reduced price; included accessories; open box specials, etc.

    So, rather than driving around from store to store to review and choose products -- I do that online, then go to the physical store to actually choose/buy my choice... saving both time and money (including gas money)  -- getting store card credits and CC cashback rewards.

    Yes!  I do the same!
    The best example I can think of is going into a Best Buy or office supply store and under each computer is a 5x7" card with the barest of info on the computer above it.   If you ask a clerk, you're probably told:  "Yes, that is a nice black one!  It'll solve all your problems!".

    So, I do my research on Amazon and the internet in general -- and then go to EBay to buy.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    FYI, the fine print at the end of the press released indicates some of this is only coming to select stores. I'm assuming the mall stores that haven't been redesigned yet will be the last to get some of this stuff.

    I bet they get some of them but not perhaps all for space and tech reasons. 
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