Imagine walking into a non-Apple store which is neatly organized, uses iPod touches and iPads as payment devices, and offers a staff that is extremely helpful. This is exactly what Ron Johnson is setting out to do with JC Penney. Ron Johnson was the senior vice president of retail operations for Apple and arrived from Target in January in 2000. He thought of the wonderful Apple Stores and Genius Bars. Earlier this year, it was reported that Ron Johnson would be leaving Apple and would become JC Penney’s new CEO.
Today, a new report suggests that he is assembling a new team of former Apple executives to reinvent JC Penney retail experience. The Wall Street Journal reports that he is assembling a that includes former Apple executive Daniel Walker, who served as a “chief talent officer” from 2000 to 2005, and Michael Kramer, who worked as Apple Retail’s chief financial officer over the same five year period.
In fact, Walker recruited Johnson to work at Apple, while Kramer worked with Johnson at Target before both joined Apple ten years ago. Ironic isn’t? Johnson’s new team hopes to do at JC Penney something similar to what they accomplished at Apple. Just imagine how awesome this would be if it works out!
I don’t think this will be an easy task for Johnson since JC Penney is already operating over 1,100 stores in the US and Puerto Rico. When Johnson joined Apple, its retail operations started from scratch over a decade ago and grew over a period of time.
Back in August, it was revealed that Apple began working on a $6.6 million renovation of the plaza and glass cube at the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, New York. Then, it was reported that new design consists of switching larger panes of glass to make for a cleaner appearance as the total number of panes is reduced from 90 to 15. Today, the new design has been unveiled and it is gorgeous.
Construction workers had spent the last few months replacing the 32-foot glass cube, which previously used 90 panes of glass. Now, the new design consists of 15 lager, seamless panes. You know, while other companies are trying to figure out ways to catch up with Apple, Apple can afford to spend millions on making a glass cube look better. Amazing! Oh, and Apple is also working on a new store a few blocks away. It will be located in New York’s famous Grand Central.
In fact, word has it that the original cube was personally designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and is one of the most photographed landmarks in the New York City. Jobs even paid for the project himself and is the owner of the cube.
This iconic design has also inspired other Apple stores, including its store in Shanghai that opened last summer. Just like the Fifth Avenue store, the Shanghai’s entrance is a staircase enclosed in glass, but is cylinder shaped.
Earlier this month, a rumor suggested that Apple would be opening its first Hong Kong store on September 24th. This week, MacRumorsreported that that opening date has been confirmed, as evidenced by a small new sign placed on a stand in front of an entrance to the store. The sign confirmed that the store would open this Saturday, September 24th, at 9:00 AM.
Today, Apple opened its first retail store in Hong Kong to a crowd of hundreds of customers. The store is said to be the company’s most expensive retail location yet, with estimated construction costs of $20 million. According to Richard Lai of Engadget Chinese, more than 300 customers had lined up outside the store by 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. In addition, prior to the opening, IFC Mall staffs allowed fans to wait inside even after the mall closed, and a nearby Starbucks remained open overnight.
The new Apple store is 15,000 square feet and is located in the International Financial Center (IFC) Mall. The IFC is a waterfront commercial development in Hong Kong’s Central District and is a four-story shopping center with more than 200 stores found within.
Last quarter, the launch of the new MacBook Air in Hong Kong drew long lines and were frequently out of stock. The company’s presence in Hong Kong could help increase sales of Apple devices in Asia. In fact, last quarter Apple saw its revenue in China grow six times to reach $3.8 billion, and executives have said that they believe they are barely scratching the surfaceof the market in China.
Earlier this month, a rumor suggested that Apple would be opening its first Hong Kong store on September 24th. The new Apple store is 15,000 square feet and is located in the International Financial Center (IFC) Mall. The IFC is a waterfront commercial development in Hong Kong’s Central District and is a four-story shopping center with more than 200 stores found within.
Today, MacRumors reports that that opening date has been confirmed, as evidenced by a small new sign placed on a stand in front of an entrance to the store. The sign confirms that the store will open this Saturday, September 24th, at 9:00 AM.
Apple began construction for the store in June and reports suggested that the company planned to spend more than $20 million on construction alone. The new store is expected to employ more than 300 employees who will serve an estimated 40,000 customers each day. The company has created a new Hong Kong retail page with a dedicated store page.
Last quarter, the launch of the new MacBook Air in Hong Kong drew long lines and were frequently out of stock. The company’s presence in Hong Kong could help increase sales Apple devices in Asia. In fact, last quarter Apple saw its revenue in China grow six times to reach $3.8 billion, and executives have said they believe they are barely scratching the surfaceof the market in China.
Yesterday, 9to5Macreported that banners advertising for the forthcoming grand opening of the first Apple Store in Hong Kong had been put up. The new store will be opening in Hong Kong’s International Finance Center. They read “Apple Store, ifc mall. The new Center of Central.” Today, Engadget Chinese reports that the store will open on September 24th. Apple declined to confirm the date, noting they “don’t have further information to share.”
The International Financial Center is waterfront commercial development in Hong Kong’s Central District. The mall is a four-story shopping center with more than 200 stores found within.
Apple began construction for the store in June and reports suggested that the company planned to spend more than $20 million on construction alone. The new store is expected to employ more than 300 employees who will serve an estimated 40,000 customers each day.
Last quarter, the launch of the new MacBook Air in Hong Kong drew long lines and were frequently out of stock. The company’s presence in Hong Kong could help increase sales Apple devices in Asia. In fact, last quarter Apple saw its revenue in China grow six times to reach $3.8 billion, and executives have said they believe they are barely “scratching the surface” of the market in China.
Apple has been hard at work with renovating their stores and constructing new ones. Today, Reuters reports that Apple’s potential plans for its first retail store in London’s financial district are being questioned as existing buildings surrounding the site may see their protected access to sunlight impacted upon by this development.
According to the report, Apple is looking to build its store on the ground floor of a 10-story building planned for construction at 100 Cheapside in London.
The proposed 10-storey development at 100 Cheapside has planning permission for 87,000 square feet of offices and 13,000 square feet of retail.
U.S. developer Hines is in talks to buy the site for under 25 million pounds and Apple is interested in taking space there, a source close to the process told Reuters.
Thirteen properties are said to be affected by the development. Eight of the buildings are substantial enough that their owners are likely to seek injunctions against the project. In addition, the property’s current owner has asked the city to use its power to waive the ability for owners of neighboring properties to seek injunctions against the project.
Construction is yet to begin at the potential site and due to the potential legal difficulties facing the project, there’s no given time when Apple will seek other options for a retail store in the area.
The company currently has two Apple Stores within a few miles of the proposed site, with its Covent Garden store about 1.5 miles to the west and Regent Street store about a mile further to the west.
Last month, it was reported that Apple has been working on a renovating the iconic glass cube surrounding the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan. Their new design consists of switching larger panes of glass to make for a cleaner appearance as the total number of panes is reduced from 90 to 15. Even though the store is being renovated, the store is still open 24/7 for customers.
TUAWnotes that deliveries of the new glass panes have begun at the site. Workers are using a large crane to work through the night unpacking the large panes for installation. According to Justin Parmer, who shot photos and a brief video of the video of the unloading process, the glass panes are roughly two inches thick. Going by the dimensions of the original cube, the new panes should be about 32 feet high by a little over 10 feet wide.
In addition, Apple is currently working on a gorgeous brand new store in New York’s Grand Central, which is expected to open later this year. The company is also working on another new store in Santa Monica, CA with a beautiful glass roof.
HardMacreports that Apple has made an internal announcement that it has completed working on tools that will allow support technicians to utilize remote diagnostics on iOS devices. For example, receiving informations about a device’s state. In addition, the report notes that the new tools will allow Apple’s tech support to provide enhanced device support without customers having to bring their devices in to an Apple store or service center.
In effect, this systems operates entirely online. An email is sent to the device containing a URL (this can alsoo be entered by hand) and the device will connect via Mobile Safari and the telephone to start internal checks and sends the result of it to the Apple servers to which the service centres are connected.
The application is a web application, which can be accesed via iOS’s Safari browser, and can detect the device’s Unique Device Identifier (UDID), device name, battery health and charging information, installed iOS version, and data on improper hangs and shutdowns.
AppleInsidernotes that this tool is similar to iosdiags.apple.com site, which apparently has been used for some time by Apple retail stores to wirelessly gather system information. When the site is run from a device, the results are sent back to the MobileGenius software used in-store by Apple’s Genius representatives. In addition, the data can also be read from the desktop iRepair software to which Geniuses have access to.
Rumors suggest that Apple perhaps is preparing to officially expand the remote diagnostics to allow users to take advantage of it.
A new report by RetailSalis states that after looking into more than 160 American retailers, Apple ranks first by a wide margin in the ability to generate revenues compared to the size of its stores.
The company’s global retail store chain consists of 327 stores, on average, each store consists of 7,886 gross sq ft of retail property. Which makes Apple stores about the same size as the average Polo or J Crew, roughly half as large as typical Best Buy, Walgreen, or CVS stores.
Shockingly, Apple stores generate 5 to 10 times as much revenue per square foot, which is nearly 7 times as much as Best Buy, and about 6 to 9 times as much revenue per square foot to warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. Apple also generates twice as much revenue per square as high end boutiques such as Tiffany and Coach.
Majority of Apple’s growth has occurred overseas, in contrast, many US retailers have seen a decline in detail revenues.
In addition, the the report notes that Apple has seen a 49.1 percent increase year over year in its sales per square foot and a 70.5 percent growth in its retail revenues overall. The report does not compare Apple’s online sales or any other online retailers.
Just yesterday, it was reported that Apple proposed to open a massive glass-roofed retail store in Santa Monica, CA and was waiting for approval. Today, the Santa Monica Planning Commission has approved Apple’s plans for the new retail store with a giant roof. The store was approved without any discussion.
The project was included on commission’s Consent Calendar, which Peggy Clifford of Santa Monica Dispatch said this is the first time she can remember a plan of this size had been proposed for approval.
Members of the planning commission pulled Apple’s retail store project from the calendar, making it to be approved unanimously. The rapid approval was something Clifford had never seen before.
The surprise was that the staff put the project on the Consent Calendar. I cannot remember any large, complex commercial project ever going on the Consent Calendar. Apple was the only item on last night’s Calendar. And, under the rules, the Consent Calendar is approved as a whole unless someone wishes to pull at item for discussion.
And in that crucial blink, the commissioners approved the Consent Calendar (aka Apple Glass House), and that was that except for a staff report on the redesign of the Project Case List, after which they adjourned.
Documentation used for the report for the project doesn’t specifically mention Apple, but renderings of the project clearly reveal an Apple Retail store with a giant curved glass ceiling.
Apple’s new retail store would replace an existing three-story building which used to be a Borders Bookstore. In addition, the 34 foot high store is expected to have a gorgeous glass ceiling.
The design at the proposed Santa Monica site is similar to Apple’s store in New York’s Upper West Side, which opened in 2009.