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Apple Updating 400 Stores, Transforming Retail Experience Into ‘Town Square’ Model

Apple Updating 400 Stores, Transforming Retail Experience Into ‘Town Square’ Model

Apple has a vision and it could disrupt the retail landscape.

Retailers are facing mass bankruptcies and the shuttering of brick-and-mortar stores. Apple Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts is aware of the need to stand out among the crowd.

And while Apple Stores are hardly hurting — they have more sales per square foot than any other retailer worldwide and last year reported 40% year-over-year growth in online sales — staying ahead of the game is as important as ever, BuzzFeed reports.

One way the company is doing this is by making the store about more than gadgetsApple has removed the word “store” from its new sites, instead referring to them as town squares to inspire visions of gathering places where people can learn, shop, connect with others and get inspired.

Ahrendts is planning to offer classes to visitors and add features such as outdoor tables and free WiFi to encourage customers to stay in stores for longer periods of time.

Apple will be updating about 400 existing stores but is focusing the strategy primarily on sites in metropolitan areas, at least for the time being.

Among the new stores are a five-story atrium on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, a building underneath an outdoor amphitheater in Milan, which features a waterfall entrance, and a store overlooking the Chicago River.