The College Store of 2015 Report, a study funded by the NACS Foundation and released in 2010, used the Apple Store as an example for college stores to emulate. Now, the Apple Store is reinventing itself.
“This is one of the new store designs we’re starting to roll out in America,” Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president for retail and online stores, said at the opening of a new concept store in Indianapolis, IN. “We have been intentionally reinvesting in the fleet in America because we had about half of our stores that were opened before the iPhone launched in ’07. We needed to make them larger and more customer-friendly.”
Apple wants its new store to be more like a town square with designated areas for phones and accessories, watches, computers, and repairs. In fact, the Genius Bar in the Indy store has been replaced by the Genius Grove, a section behind a large video screen that allows customers to get service on their devices without being out on the shopping floor.
The new concept also calls for staffers who are expert in the fields of photography, music, and gaming to provide customers with more information on using their new purchases. Taking a page straight out the college store playbook, Apple set aside space, called Today at Apple, to host artist events and other creative opportunities.
“A lot of people who have our products may not come into the store,” Ahrendts said. “Now, they see the avenues in the store, the changes monthly that are happening, and there’s always something new to discover. The plan is to increase traffic dramatically.”