Opening More Apple Stores Might Not Improve Customer Experience

Palo Alto Apple Store

Ever since retail supremo Angela Ahrendts announced her departure from Apple there has been a lot of discussion about what comes next for the company in the retail space. One of the predominant themes has been improving the customer experience in the stores. Some people advocated Apple opening more stores, to help reduce the waiting times for support. Over on 9to5 Mac, Michael Steeber explained why thinks that might not be the silver bullet solution.

Advocating for a rapid expansion tragically discounts the Goliath effort that goes into opening a modern Apple store. While you might be content with a fleet of the modest mall shops of the iPod era, Apple certainly is not. The company has repeatedly said it thinks of stores as its “largest product.” Just like new iPhone features are implemented with cautious consideration, Apple’s retail development adheres to similar uncompromising scrutiny in site location and building design. Even if Apple decided to double its store count today, the results would not begin to show for another 2-3 years.

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2 thoughts on “Opening More Apple Stores Might Not Improve Customer Experience

  • The main problem is that when you enter the store, there is no obvious place to go to get help, and good luck finding someone to ask. At a minimum there should be a welcome desk to either direct you to the right part of the store if you want to browse, or to put you in a queue for a sales person or technical support.

  • I just read this article on 9to5mac and I find it preposterous. Opening more stores would absolutely be one in a number of solutions to overcrowding. Also, continuing to expand current stores can help. They also can ease restrictions on Apple Authorized Retailers to ease some of the burden on Apple Stores as they continue to expand. There is also always the potential of gathering data on problems that bring people into the store and making changes to the products to reduce repairs or issues over time. None of these alone might solve the overcrowding problem, but sticking our collective heads in the sand about this issue will not solve it either. I purposely avoid experiencing anything at the Apple Store because of the overcrowding. If they want to continue with the initiatives to make Apple Stores into a “town square” then it should definitely be a high priority for the company to reduce overcrowding in order to provide the experiences that they promote about the stores in the videos at WWDC.

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