Most companies are moving to focus on online sales, but Apple still embraces person-to-person communication to educate consumers about its products. The Apple Store generates about $5,079 in sales per square foot across its 497 retail stores. The most recent, located in Chicago, opened on Friday. Apple continues building them but knows in-person shopping is declining, so the company is adding town square-like qualities to bring people back.
Angela Ahrendts, who leads Apple’s retail division, gave an interview with CNBC in which she discussed the value of the Apple Store and how it’ll handle the release of the iPhone X.
Apple doesn’t just want to sell you phones, tablets, computers, and other products in its retail stores. The company wants to create and manage a close relationship with consumers. Ahrendts wants friends to come together at an Apple Store for entertainment and education. Apple is adding more concerts and classes to its locations around the world.
The executive points out that everyone should be able to go to an Apple Store and get what they need, especially since the company’s portfolio is getting increasingly complex. Apple will release the iPhone X, a $999 phone, in a few weeks. Ahrendts was asked how that will be handled and if employees are going to upsell the expensive hardware.
Retail-based employees have been instructed to not push the iPhone X over the iPhone 8 if the new model isn’t the right fit. Ahrendts says the internal tagline is “an iPhone for everyone.” With that said, those helping customers at an Apple Store will listen to what an individual is buying for and then recommend a specific product. Apple claims it already does this with the Mac and iPad.
Here’s what Ahrendts told CNBC:
“There’s a 5 now at a terrific price point. There’s still the 6s, the 7s. Here’s my thing: I have three kids. And most people in America have a lot of kids. And so why make someone feel bad that they don’t have the X? Not everybody needs the X. If you have three young children, I prefer that we ask you who you’re buying it for. And if they’re six or seven years old, what do they need?
That’s still hard to believe, though. Employees at an Apple Store are definitely going to push the iPhone X since it’s new and more expensive, the latter leading to increased revenue.
The iPhone X will go up for pre-order on Friday, October 27. Apple will then release the device worldwide on November 3. It’ll be hard to get, however, as Apple is expected to have just 2 to 3 million units immediately available.