Apple unveiled a new vision for its retail stores with the hope of providing shoppers with the experience of setting foot in its headquarters. Some features have also been borrowed from Apple’s upcoming headquarters in Silicon Valley, which will open early next year.
Based on Apple’s new campus
At a media event in San Francisco on Thursday, Apple executives offered a sneak peak of the future store design, which features elements the tech giant is planning to roll out to more locations worldwide. It includes new spaces for socialization and collaboration. Plenty of glass, metal and blonde wood are included in the redesign as shoppers have come to associate these sleek materials with the company.
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Apple’s San Francisco store features terrazzo floors just like the new campus, and it has similar ceiling fixtures as well, according to Apple’s senior director of design for real estate and development, BJ Siegel.
“We’re trying to be one company and have one point of view,” the executive said.
The San Francisco store has a ‘boardroom,” which is a new space for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and shoppers will get an idea of Apple’s futuristic headquarters, known for its spaceship-like circular design. Most of the furniture is identical to what will be used on the new campus, and it has tables designed in part by Apple’s chief design officer, Jonathan Ive.
Siegel said, “When working with small business customers, we want them to feel like they have left the retail environment and entered Apple.”
Are Apple Stores losing their charm?
A redesigned accessories section, a leafy plaza that will be open 24*7 to the public, and an open space dubbed the “forum” for community events are included in the new floor plan. This new makeover comes at a time when the smartphone market is becoming increasingly saturated, because of which Apple has seen its first-ever decline in iPhone sales and its first revenue drop in 13 years.
Many big names in the retail world are envious of the Apple Store, which boasts the highest sales per square-foot in the industry, but according to some, these stores, which first opened 15 years ago, have lost their edge. Many industry watchers are keen to learn how Angela Ahrendts, who joined Apple two years ago from Burberry, will put her stamp on the stores.
“We will know we have done really great if it feels like a town square,” Ahrendts said.