Apple wants people of all shapes, sizes, and ages to hang out at their retail locations. They even got rid of the ‘Store’ portion of their brick-and-mortar locations to indicate this desire. Now, the company is introducing new initiatives to make hanging out at an Apple seem much more possible.
For instance, in all 495 of their stores, Apple will introduce ‘Today at Apple’ that’ll offer multiple learning sessions for interested crowds to take. They’ll educate audiences on programming, taking better photos, being more productive, using Apple-branded software, and so on. They’re also redesigning their 1000 biggest stores with updated seating and sound, Forum Displays and mobile screens for Today at Apple sessions, living trees, new wooden finishes, and wall displays for their various products. The company hopes this’ll create a more casual atmosphere for friends to hang out in.
Apple’s also giving the Genius Bar a new name: Genius Grove. With this change, Apple will introduce a casual sitting area where Genius members can help Apple product users with any questions they may have or troubleshoot problems they’re experiencing. All of these added elements and redesigned factors will play a role in Apple’s initiative to basically turn their stores into town square meetup centers.
Additionally, Apple wants more community members to hold special events and gatherings at their retail locations. And eventually, the company wants people to say, “Meet me at Apple.”
As per an interview with Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, by CBS This Morning,
“A lot of the big online guys have said they’re opening stores. Amazon’s investing in stores. Google’s investing in stores. … Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for – right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks,”’ Ahrendts said. “And you know, I’ve told the teams, ‘I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, “Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?”’”
Basically, Apple wants to be the next Starbucks, minus the coffee and plus technology, music, culture, and crowds.
A majority of these changes, including Today at Apple sessions, will be formally introduced later next month, with some changes potentially happening “literally overnight,” according to CBS. You can learn more about Today at Apple in the company’s press release here.