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If you’d any second thoughts about how Apple sees itself as a high-end fashion brand in the customer electronic devices world, doubt no more: today the company announced that it’s designating Angela Ahrendts, presently the CEO of Burberry, as its SVP of retail and online stores. This is a brand-new position at the business that’ll report straight to Tim Cook, and it takes effect in the Spring of 2014. At the UK-based fashion home, she’s getting been successful by designer Christopher Bailey.
Apple says Ahrendts will be in charge of ‘the strategic direction, development and operation’ of both Apple retail and online stores. Apple’s direct sales operations have been a juggernaut that’s actually redefined how consumer electronics are marketed and offered, with many like Microsoft, Samsung and Nokia trying to duplicate the formula (less effectively). Nevertheless, in the most current quarter, the numbers were less outstanding, with sales of $4 billion, flat on one year ago, and down 22 % sequentially. That’s something that needs taking care of.
‘I’m profoundly recognized to sign up with Apple in this freshly produced position next year, and quite look forward to working with the international groups to more enrich the customer experience on and offline,’ said Ahrendts in a statement. ‘I’ve actually constantly admired the development and impact Apple services and products have on people’s lives and hope in some little method I can assist contribute to the company’s ongoing success and management in changing the world.’
‘World’ is the operative word right here: the business has actually been pushing difficult into new markets like China with a substantial retail presence there, along with breaking ground in various other arising countries like Russia. (Coincidentally, both are favorites with Burberry, Ahrendts knows how to offer high-end product there.)
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, meanwhile noted that Ahrendts ‘shares our values and our focus on development, and she puts the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience.’
The connection between Burberry and Apple is an intriguing one. As Apple was preparing for a big sales push with its brand-new generations of the iPhone in September, the fashion house utilized the gadget conspicuously during its Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show – a big enough deal that Apple press released the event. Little did we understand at the time that this was something of a foreshadowing wink to today’s news. (Hell, even that champagne color on the iPhone 5s is, honestly, a metallic variation of Burberry beige.)
Of course, it surpasses merely one fashion label making use of the latest phones from a phone maker in a one-off cross-promotional chance. ‘This collaboration celebrates our relationship and shared foundation in design and craftsmanship. We’ve a mutual passion for producing beautiful items and unlocking emotive experiences with innovation, which has made it extremely amazing to check out the capacities of iPhone Fives,’ stated Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer at the time. ‘We are inspired by exactly what this can indicate for the future as we continue to explore the merging of physical and digital experiences.’ This could be a reference to how Apple could be moving even deeper into the world of aesthetics and fashion in a wearables move. In any case, the physical and digital experience will likely be a modish one, also underscored by the appointment of YSL’s CEO Paul Deneve as the new head of still-unspecified ‘unique tasks.’
More normally, Apple has long planted itself as no regular yard range consumer electronics brand. It’s apparent in its design (constantly high end), its rates (premium), and its general comportment as a special, unique thing.
No, not a pedestrian Red Delicious apple (not even my preferred, Macintosh) but an uncommon range from an orchard possibly once belonging to a noble family. In that regard, Apple is actually very close in values to the number of high-end style brands, consisting of Burberry (except for its ‘chav’ stumble), have actually placed themselves for many years.
There’s likewise an ironic riposte below to exactly what precedes Ahrendts. Various other retail heads (under different titles, an additional mark of how Apple is breaking a bit with things it doesn’t like from its past) have consisted of Ron Johnson, who delegated run JC Penney, and John Browett, who’d actually directed UK mid-range electronic devices chain Dixons. I do not know if it was deliberate or not, but JC Penney and Dixons are a very far cry from Burberry and Apple.
On the other hand, as Apple does move into more segmentation in its iPhone gadgets, you can see where the experience of somebody like Ahrendts, who’s actually successfully navigated Burberry into a position of restoring its stature with high-end consumers however likewise continuing to advance its name and products to a bigger audience, would suit completely.
Before Burberry, Ahrendts cut her teeth at a number of other fashion homes, consisting of Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan.