Apple Stores unify employee shirts as major customer service enhancements planned

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Apple is taking a small-step to unifying the attire of its U.S.-based Apple Store employees this upcoming week: the black shirts worn by Apple Store Business Team members for several years will be going into retirement, and all Apple Store employees will begin wearing the same, classic blue t-shirts as normally seen on the store sales floors. Is this a move from the handbook of Angela Ahrendts’ fashion background? Probably not. Sources say that the move happened in Europe a few months ago and the change-up is simply to unify the Apple Store teams as one. The business team will continue to exist in its current form (for now), so this is mostly just a visual change.

In other news, multiple sources also say that Apple is planning some significant operational changes within its stores to improve customer experience…

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Court approves European trademark on Apple Store design as 38th UK store set to open

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You’d probably recognize that you’d walked into an Apple Store even if both logo and products were covered: the signature wooden tables, glass frontage and glass staircase would give it away. Apple successfully trademarked its store designs in the U.S. last year, and a European Union court has today approved a similar trademark application in Europe …  Read more

Tim Cook says Apple will begin releasing diversity data, gives no timetable

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Apple’s executive team

At this week’s Sun Valley conference in Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg reporters that Apple will release diversity data on its workforce. Cook did not specify when this data release would come, but this is the first confirmation from Apple that the company is planning to release such data. A CNN report from March detailed Apple as one of the several technology giants that have objected to releasing the information.

“We’ll release the information at some point,” Cook said at the annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, without giving a timetable for a disclosure. “We are more focused on actions.”

Diversity reports, such as the one that Facebook released on its workforce a couple of weeks ago, typically detail demographics in terms of ethnicity and gender. Apple has been criticized for having both a mostly male executive team and board of directors, but Cook has added Angela Ahrendts to the executive team and has been seeking new board members in recent months. Apple has also hired Lisa Jackson to run Environmental Initiatives and recently appointed Denise Young Smith as the new head of Human Resources.

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Apple hires Patrick Pruniaux, VP of Tag Heuer Sales and Retail, for iWatch marketing

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Earlier today, the CEO of Tag Heuer revealed to CNBC that Apple has hired one of the watch-makers sales directors. However, the company did not announce the name of this “director” or the person’s exact position. A source directly familiar with the Apple hire confirmed that the Cupertino-based company hired Patrick Pruniaux late last month. Pruniaux is not just any “Sales Director:” he was the Vice President of Sales and Retail, a major loss for Tag Heuer and a significant hire for Apple in the run up the launch of the Apple smart watch in October. Pruniaux is pictured in the photo above (second person from the right), and his LinkedIn profile reveals his impressive work in jewelry and watch marketing:

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Apple begins hiring for another 3 new retail stores in China

Photo: mshcdn.com

Photo: mshcdn.com

We previously reported that Apple had new retail stores planned for the Chongqing region as well as upcoming locations for Shenyang and Central Hangzhou coming later this year. Today three more stores in China get added to the mix with a job listing on the company’s website hiring for positions in Tianjin, Wuxi, and Zhengzhou in addition to the three stores mentioned above that we already knew about (via Bloomberg).  Read more