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Apple Opens First 'Next Generation' Retail Store (usatoday.com) 91

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has opened its new flagship store on Thursday in San Fransisco, throwing the curtain back on a design that puts a premium on hanging out over shopping. About 20 percent of the new store's space features an open Forum area where visitors can learn about Apple's various products. The new design is rolling out to stores in Brussels, Memphis and Guilderland, N.Y. "This is the next generation of Apple retail," Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail and online operations, told media. "Fifteen years ago today Apple opened its first two stores and we're thrilled to mark the occasion with the opening of Apple Union Square in San Francisco," she said. "We are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs." The new stores were designed by Ahrendts and Apple's design chief, Jony Ive. "Among the other big changes in evidence is morphing Apple's Genius Bar to Genius Grove; the addition of a new Boardroom area dedicated to small business customers; and the advent of a new staff position, Apple Creative Pro, tasked with helping consumers with specific questions on music, photography, videos and the like," writes USA Today. "In addition, some of Apple's most significant store locations, include the [Apple Union Square in San Fransisco], will feature a public Plaza that will be open 24/7 and feature free Wi-Fi as well as occasional concerts and other performances." Oh, and you can't forget about the new 6K video wall, which display broadcasts various Apple products.
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Apple Opens First 'Next Generation' Retail Store

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  • One of these cities is not like the other...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most likely because it's an upscale mall in the Albany area, which is reasonably affluent, and not too far from New York City, so they can experiment without necessarily closing a more flagship store.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      Not like the others? No one's heard of San Fransisco, either.
  • Ew (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
    I hope this is a /vertisement because it'd somehow be worse if the editors greenlit this honestly. Also at the risk of being modded troll: no multi-national, maybe least of all Apple, should be touting the be touting their commitment to community given what they do to their workers overseas.
    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      Actually it is the worker's governments which permit this sort of thing that need to change. For that to happen, the citizens living there need to do something.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday May 20, 2016 @10:17PM (#52153321)

      You mean being the best employer in China to work for, by a large margin, because workers are treated better and get bonuses?

      It should be said, that is entirely unlike the sweatshop box YOU are typing on, Apple Hater.

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        That Chinese company really care about the employees, they even offer them a safety net in case they experience psychological distress!

        That even beats the Nike production line in Vietnam where women were provided with athletic trainng opportunities, running around the factory in the pleasant summer days.

      • Best? Not even close. I don't know how much you've been to China (if ever), but as someone who lived there for 6 years and still spends 40% of my year there, I can tell you that Hon Hai is FAR from the best. And I've been at the Longhua and Zhengzhou facilities. They still have 25% annual turnover, wages BARELY (like 10%) exceed minimum wage rates for each city, and overall bonuses are a pittance - and are composed mainly of overtime pay.

        You want a good factory with low turnover, look at a place like Ti

  • by destinyland ( 578448 ) on Friday May 20, 2016 @08:31PM (#52152819)
    The one in Memphis has an enormous screen on one wall.

    http://appleinsider.com/articl... [appleinsider.com]

    They say it's designed to give you the laid-back feeling of shopping in a small town.
  • by Alomex ( 148003 )

    I'm so excited. If this isn't true innovation I don't know what is. I'll go line up now for when the store opens.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      It reminds me of book and media stores before the Internet came along and killed the demand for physical media. Before that coffee houses. Before that taverns.

  • "the advent of a new staff position, Apple Creative Pro" - sounds more like a software title. I'm sure they'll be as "creative" as the Apple Geniuses at the genius bars are "geniuses."
    • They should have used a water park theme instead, one with a jump and a shark. Then the customers could impress each other... oh wait.
    • If I ran a next-gen Apple Store, I would have this video projected on an endless loop.

      https://youtu.be/hfjHJneVonE [youtu.be]

    • Welcome to euphemism land!

      People are not retarded anymore, they are "special". People are not crippled anymore, they are "differently able". Broke people are not on the dole, they're "the Precariat".

      And useless people are now "Apple Geniuses".

      What's so difficult to understand? Get with the times, man!

  • I've seen these things called "Hackerspaces", so what about making "Applespaces"?

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      Applespaces... spaces where the sheeple will come and stare at awe at our high-resolution advertisements playing 24/7 in our stores. And a space where they can sit down and recover from all the shocks their wristband [slashdot.org] will be giving them as they overspend to further increase the size of our vast offshore cash reserves [slashdot.org].
    • You give them an Apple portable and a screwdriver and see how long it takes for someone to break a product trying to open it?

    • Applespaces? Is that like... you know, Safe Spaces, just way more FABULOUS?

  • by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Friday May 20, 2016 @10:09PM (#52153293)

    Originally, when Apple planned to renovate the Union Square retail location, they intended to remove the fountain that was on the property. Regardless of the aesthetic/cultural value of that fountain (personally, I think it's kind of an eyesore but I absolutely respect that others might not feel the same way), the public protested, and as a result, Apple changed their plan, and the fountain remains.

    I think that says something about a corporation--even one as large and influential as Apple is--that they are willing to listen to the community. That they designed the store with the intent--whether or not it is realized--to integrate with the community, is something that I doubt many other major tech companies really care about. But in typical pessimist Slashdot "nothing is ever good enough and every action has some sinister and ulterior motive" fashion, people seem to always find some reason to complain.

    Yes, it's a retail store. Yes, it's for Apple to make money. Yes, there was an environmental impact. No, Apple doesn't sell your beloved Android system. No, Apple isn't God, and they don't let their iPhones run anything you want. No, Apple doesn't do everything you want them to do exactly how you want them to do it and for free. No, the building is not some miracle of architecture designed to be perfect in every way, even if Apple hopes you might think so. Yes, Apple has their cult following.

    Given all that, just take a deep breath, relax, and admit that it's a decent renovation, that there will be people who will enjoy the new store, and that Apple, unlike a lot of other companies and for whatever reason, at least tries to care about doing the right thing in this case. That is neither a case for sainthood nor demonization.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Wow, someone's been drinking the kool-aid. They kept the fountain because their main markets are hipsters and older people who care about that. They are heavily reliant on the Reality Distortion Field, which is what this new store is designed to boost, for sales. Think about it, they are turning it into Starbucks, a place where people hang out with the MacBooks writing novels and using Facetime, because that's what hipsters and older people respond to.

  • Open 24/7? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by superdude72 ( 322167 ) on Friday May 20, 2016 @10:51PM (#52153471)

    I'm not sure what the point is, staying open 24/7 near Union Square. It's very busy during the day, but most of the late-night activity takes place in other parts of town. Is the market so saturated that their next target demographic is homeless people?

    • This was my initial thought. If they start handing out cheese sandwiches, I will be hitching up that way. I wonder if they will handle it with the same grace as Google in LA.
      google's ugly war against homeless in LA [yashalevine.com]
      To be fair, both sides are to blame if you can consider people with mental illness to blame. The homeless make a mess of things, but for all the high-minded rhetoric that progressive companies like Google and Apple spew, they resort to thug-tactics when the problem is on their doorstep.

  • by Streetlight ( 1102081 ) on Saturday May 21, 2016 @12:15AM (#52153789) Journal
    Changing the clothes doesn't change the person wearing the clothes. The products sold in the stores are the same now as they were before the stores were remade or available on the web.
  • by myid ( 3783581 ) on Saturday May 21, 2016 @01:41AM (#52154049)

    Changing the genius bar to a genius grove, opening a plaza - it sounds like Apple is trying to make enough room in their retail stores. That's good. But here's another idea for making room in Apple stores:

    I wish Apple would open Customer Service Centers (CSC). A CSC would take care of non-sales jobs, like genius bars, repairs, and workshops. Apple stores still would do these functions, but customers would have the added option of going to a CSC instead of to a store.

    Because a CSC would not do any sales, it should not be in a mall. The CSC should be in an area that's easy to drive to, with plenty of empty parking stalls near the CSC. (The Apple retail stores that I go to are in malls, and the parking spots near the stores are usually taken. If I have to take my iMac to an Apple store for repair, and if I have to park far away from the mall entrance, then it's hard to carry the iMac to the store.) Also the CSC should be large enough to have plenty of room in it for its customers.

    If most Apple customers went to CSCs for repairs and genius bars, instead of going to retail stores, then that would help in several ways:

    * Apple retail stores would be less crowded, and the sales staff would have more time to attend to the customers. (In the Apple stores that I go to, there are lots of employees and customers, and the people are crammed like sardines. Most store owners would love to have the problem of their stores being crowded with "too many customers", but the crowding makes it hard for me to ask questions and try out their computers.)

    * It would be less crowded and stressful for the Apple employees and customers in a CSC. Customers in the CSC would be able to walk into the CSC, talk with a genius, pick up a repaired computer or whatever, and walk out.

    * Since CSCs would not be in shopping malls, Apple could choose from plenty of options on where to put them. So Apple would be able to open CSCs in areas with empty parking stalls nearby.

    * If Apple opened lots of CSCs, then customers who lived near a CSC but not near an Apple retail store would have a nearby place to go, for genius bars and repairs. (The nearest Apple store is 30 miles away? That's ok - a CSC is just 5 miles away.)

    • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday May 21, 2016 @02:58AM (#52154171)

      But it'd also harm impulse purchases. Right now when someone needs CSC services they have to also look at all the cool new iStuff. That's taking lots of people who already have at least one Apple product and giving them a presentation on more Apple products they could buy right there. Go in to fix your Mac - leave with a fixed Mac and an iPad to go with it.

      • by twokay ( 979515 )
        And from the looks of the redesigned locations, they are more of an art gallery to consumerism with a gift shop thrown in (along with typical gift shop mark up). I'm surprised they even allow soiled devices back within the store limits.
    • Non.... sales? There is such a thing?

      Ok, who left the door open? I told you time and again, if you leave doors open techs will come into the marketing meetings and ruin everything with their non-profitable ideas!

    • Because a CSC would not do any sales

      Oh lol!

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce