Working in the favor of Apple’s new retail store chief Deirdre O’Brien are 500-plus physical shrines to Apple products around the world that are usually jam packed. And the store designs look pretty sweet, too — J.C. Penney’s Apple stores are not.
But make no mistake, O’Brien’s core tasks — taking Apple retail stores to the next level in terms of customer service and overall count —is nothing to scoff at. And the creator of the Apple store, Ron Johnson, is well aware of that, even though he is now watching his former employer from afar.
“Apple has the premier retail experience —under Angela [Ahrendts] they made significant improvements, but they also have significant challenges,” Johnson told Yahoo Finance. “In a way, they are sort of a victim of their own success. The stores are so popular, the real challenge is handling the amount of traffic coming through.”
“But I think Apple is the gold standard of retail,” added Johnson.
Apple surprisingly parted ways this month with Ahrendts as its retail store chief. Ahrendts ceremoniously joined Apple in October 2013 after serving as CEO of luxury brand Burberry, where she led a dramatic turnaround by adding a sense of cool into the stores, clothing and online business. Read more