With the 10th anniversary of Apple’s retail initiative upon us, there’s been a whole lot of rumors flying around about special plans Apple has in store. Some reports point to a new product launch (unlikely) while others have centered on actual store renovations. Yesterday, for example, we highlighted a report suggesting Apple was upgrading its in-store tables with NFC processing capabilities.
But recently reports have been indicating that Apple’s plans will be even grander. Yesterday 9to5Mac reported that Apple Stores all over the world will be getting a makeover, which is of course interesting in light of reports that Apple store employees were instructed not to take vacation time from May 20 through May 22.
Meanwhile, AppleInsider is reporting that Apple stores around the US have received a slew of iPads that will reportedly run an “iPad version of its proprietary in-house communications client known as RetailMe. The RetailMe service offers information about products and training videos for retail employees.”
But 9to5Mac a few hours a go posted a motherload of interesting information about Apple’s planned retail store makeover.
Supposedly dubbed Apple Store 2.0, the upcoming changes will represent a huge makeover for the Apple store retail experience. Apple has reportedly been working on this initiative from some time now. Interestingly, not only is Apple’s Senior VP of Retail Ron Johnson heavily involved, but the initiative was concurrently spearheaded by Steve Jobs and Apple’s go-to design man Jonathan Ive.
So what changes can we expect to see?
Apple is taking their personal setup service very seriously. Even more so in Apple Store 2.0. Personal Setup will have new dedicated areas in stores called “Startup Sessions.” The new bars are said to be even more interactive. Another major change at Apple Stores has to do with their signage. Today, next to each Mac and many products are paper signs. With Apple Store 2.0, those signs will be replaced with interactive iPads.
Next, these new Apple Stores – at least in some locations – will feature beefed up displays, which are described as “huge,” in addition to brand-new sound systems. Besides those in-store changes, Apple is set to release a brand-new Apple Store iOS application – possibly on Sunday – that is even more interactive. For example, a user with the app can walk into the store and the app will know which location the user is at. The app can even ask the user if they’d like to speak to a specialist, for example.”
Funny, no one gave Apple’s retail store initiative a chance to succeed, and it’s now become an integral part of Apple’s overall product strategy.