Finally Time for Apple Inc. Store 2.0?

The last time Apple totally revamped its retail experience was … never. But Apple may be finally planning the next version of the store.

May 20, 2014 at 6:27PM

9to5Mac's Mark Gurman is back with yet another original Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) story. This time he brings us inside details on former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts' plan to reinvigorate Apple's retail experience. Her plans can be viewed as a three-part vision: China, mobile payments, and a revamped "end-to-end Apple Store sales experience," Gurman says.

Apple Store Tmf

A vision, of course, is useless if Ahrendts can't fit into Apple's culture. This was allegedly one of the main problems with Apple's last hire for the head of retail position. Former Dixons retail CEO John Browett reportedly didn't mesh with Apple's culture and only lasted about six months at the company. Ahrendts, fortunately, doesn't seem to have this problem.

Ahrendts' clear vision for the future of retail, cultural fit, and amicability with employees, and most importantly, her support, trust, and encouragement from employees, lead retail executives and store workers alike to believe that she will be able to successfully move Apple Retail past the legacy experience built by Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson (and the shadow of John Browett) and bring it into the future.

Given the size of her ambitions she will undoubtedly require the support of her colleagues.

While it's no surprise, it's reaffirming to hear that Ahrendts will make China a key focus in Apple's retail strategy. Working directly with Apple's head of China retail, Denny Tuza, Ahrendts will emphasize marketing initiatives targeting the growing Chinese sector. Her efforts come at the opportune time; Apple is planning to triple its current store count from just ten to thirty by 2016.

Mobile payments will be another major area of interest under Ahrendts. Gurman says she will use an improved mobile payments interface to create a better customer experience. Heading up Apple's online retail experience as well, Ahrendts plans to seamlessly integrate payment solutions for the two storefronts to create a better customer experience.

And in somewhat of a side note, Ahrendts' focus on mobile payments offers more confirmation that Apple is likely working on a mobile payments service for a possible 2014 launch.

Customer experience will be a key in Ahrendts' new vision. Her emphasis on the experience is end to end, with a plan to give it a complete overhaul.

From the point in which a customer finds the product he or she wants to purchase, to how they discuss the product with Apple Store employees, to how they pay for the product, Ahrendts would like to redesign the complete experience.


Can retail sales trend upward again?
Apple is arguably the model retailer. eMarketer recently ranked the Apple Store first in trailing-12-month retail sales per square foot in the U.S. And no other store across the globe has reported a higher number, making it likely that Apple is the most successful retailer in the world when measured by sales per square foot.

But the tech giant is showing some signs of a slowdown in its retail arm. In 2013, for instance, total retail revenue actually slipped slightly from $51.5 million to $50.2 million. And in Apple's most recent quarter, retail sales were flat on a year-over-year basis despite 5% growth in Apple's total top line and more store openings.

With Ahrendt officially on board, Apple investors will be hoping she can help the company revive its retail experience. The importance of her role couldn't be emphasized enough. If her efforts are successful, Apple will bolster one of the most important interactions current and potential Apple's customers have with the company.

Beyond Apple: Will this stock be your next multibagger?
Give us five minutes and we'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks one stock with amazing potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252% and 1,303%! You don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers