Apple has hit the ball out of the park yet again. They have revamped the way customers think about a ‘store’ and have put themselves ahead of retailers by leaps and bounds. They want to sell an ‘experience’ at these ‘Town Squares’ not just products. Yes, it is very millennial and that’s precisely why it will work!
Apple doesn’t want customers to think of their locations as ‘Stores’ but more of ‘Town Squares’ where people can use free wi-fi, learn more about their Apple products, avail of the free programs or just hang out with friends.
In the future, when going into an Australian Apple store, you might see as many people taking part in workshops, asking for advice or even just catching up on emails. In Australia, there will be 1000 hours of workshops each week. Akin to Bunnings workshops but for tech!
The free programs focus on the features of Apple products customers love most, across all skill levels and ages. For example, an iPhone user interested in photography can start with six ‘How To’ sessions that cover shooting, organising, editing, and more.
To deliver the new programs, each store will receive new Forum Displays, mobile screens created by Apple’s design team specifically for “Today at Apple” sessions, and updated seating and sound.
Apple ‘Town Square’ Concept
Speaking at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, told attendees that the company’s new stores are more about enriching customer’s lives than simply selling them things.
“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail. “‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins."
The company insists the new look is about prioritising the “human experience” above buying tech, but a retail expert has said the new store formats have another goal - to get more people “hooked” to brand Apple.
The last word goes to Ahrendts. "Companies have a huge obligation right now, and the bigger the company, the bigger the obligation. We are thinking about what the community needs."