10+ Apple retail insights we learned today

Apple’s VP retail, Angela Ahrendts, talked about Apple retail at the Cannes Lions event in France. Here are ten things we learned when she did.

The importance of humans

“Apple is in a leadership position when it comes to environmental responsibility and we’ve said in retail that we have a human responsibility,” she said. “I think it’s important that the largest tech company in the world makes the largest investment in humans in the world.”

Impact the planet

“It’s not just technology alone. It’s technology when it’s married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities that impacts the world and makes our heart sing.”

Retail must evolve

“The smart outside guys, they don’t say retail’s dying. They say digital’s going to grow at three times the rate of physical. In the next five years 75 percent of people will shop online – shop – but 75 percent of the business will still be done in physical stores.So, retail’s not dying, but it has to evolve. I think it has to serve a bigger purpose than just selling.”

Apple retail is about values

“You guys have been to Apple stores, you feel that energy and the values at Apple of the store teams and the loyalty and the tenure. The company’s values are aligned with my values and when you have that (you think) ‘let’s go.'”

How Apple retail works

Apple keeps an internal social network it calls ‘Loop’. It uses this to measure retail customer satisfaction by surveying customers and employees. “They are not hired to sell,” she said. “There is no commission, no quotas. What we’ve tried to do is keep uniting them around the big vision and the impact we want to make.”

The human business

“I love the creative arts… that’s kind of when we came up with the tagline: maybe we’re in the human business. Maybe the largest tech company has these 65,000 kids and maybe it’s our job to humanize technology.”

Hardware and software

“Our stores are our biggest product. They’re our hardware and what happens inside is software.”

Today at Apple

“Today at Apple could become the company’s largest platform for enriching lives.”

Advice for women

“To young girls: to thyself be true. And use your instincts, and don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t, you shouldn’t … Not in this day and age.”

On the future of Apple retail

“We’re not opening small stores, we’re taking the small stores and doubling or tripling the size of them to accommodate a forum and we’re only opening big stores in the future that can handle it,” she said. She also said she wants to take the design (including furniture and more) at Apple Park and put it inside every retail store.

Up next

Apple’s next store opening is in Macau on June 29. It will also open new locations in Milan, in Paris on the Champs Elysees and at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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