Apple’s sales overhaul for Apple Watch will focus on building trust, offering fashion views, upselling bands

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The job of Apple Retail Store employees will begin changing in profound ways next month. In order to showcase and sell the Apple Watch, retail employees will be trained to provide personal fashion and styling advice to customers, according to employees briefed on the plans. Until now, Apple Retail has been tasked with recommending iPads, iPhones and Macs with few styling options aside from limited color options.

Apple is pushing for retail employees to initiate conversations that build trust, enabling the employee to serve as a valued fashion advisor during the purchase process, similarly to how traditional watches are sold. Apple Watch sales training programs will take place for Apple retail staff over the course of the next two weeks, teaching entirely new sales techniques to encourage iPhone upgrades, assist with gifting, and guide customers in watch and strap choices.

Below, we detail how employees will provide fashion advice to customers and Apple’s multi-part plan for selling an Apple Watch.

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Elle magazine Australia offers fashion tips for making the Apple Watch part of women’s wardrobes

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Latest stop in the Apple Watch tour of the world’s fashion magazines is the Australian edition of Elle, where fashion editor Sara Smith models the watch and “shares her tips for making the watch work in your wardrobe.” The magazine’s editor in chief, Justine Cullen, also shares why she wants one …  Read more

News Hub: Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ Apple Watch event

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Today’s the day: Apple is holding its “Spring Forward” event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. This article contains the latest updates from the event in live blog style; all of our detailed individual stories from the event are now summarized at this link. The event officially began at 10 AM Pacific/ 1PM Eastern time, and our live coverage is below.

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Apple Watch tour of world’s fashion magazines reaches Hong Kong (and new cover in China)

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Apple may be able to scale back its advertising budget for the Apple Watch: so far the device appears to be doing just fine in getting multi-page editorial coverage in the world’s fashion magazines. The latest fashion title to run a major feature on the watch is Hong Kong’s East Touch magazine, which is running a four-page spread–and has since made a cover appearance on China’s YoHo! magazine.

The Apple Watch has so far been featured Vogue China, Vogue France, the USA’s Self and the UK’s Style, as well as fashion titles in France and Germany. Apple did, however, have to pay for advertising in the US edition of Vogue. A contributing editor to Vogue also described the Apple Watch as “terrific.”

Check out the other photos from East Touch, and the YoHo! cover, below …  Read more

Apple Watch ‘pop up’ stores prognosticated for Paris, London and SXSW

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Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Apple Watch makes UK fashion magazine debut with three-page feature in Style

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Following from features in fashion magazines in France and Germany, the Apple Watch has made its UK editorial debut in Sunday’s publication of Style. Although the Watch is not on the cover of the issue I received, there are four covers circulating — one of them features the Apple Watch as the cover photo. Regardless of whether you get a copy of the magazine with the special cover or not, inside the Watch gets three pages of press coverage.

The main picture features Guinevere Van Seenus wearing a 38mm Apple Watch Sport with Space Grey case and black sport band. The written accompaniment says that the Apple Watch does not convey ‘power, status and discernment’ like a Rolex can but holds back no punches in saying it will ‘wipe the floor with existing smartwatch manufacturers and give mid-market watchmakers a fright’. The magazine compliments Jony Ive in particular, for the design.

Jony Ive has got the tone of the Apple Watch just right. It looks elegant but not standoffish, and as well as the 18 variations of the regular version, there are the 10 Sport options, which come with a lightweight case, strengthened glass and a rubber strap, plus the more expensive Edition range (six models), made from 18ct gold.

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Apple hires Burberry’s VP of Digital Retail initiatives ahead of Watch launch

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Apple has made yet another key hire from the fashion industry: Chester Chipperfield, the Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design at Burberry. Chipperfield was “responsible for User Experience and Digital Design for all channels” and was “highly involved in digital retail initiatives” at Burberry, according to his LinkedIn profile. He confirmed the move to Apple on his profile as well as on Twitter

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Apple makes key biomedical & fashion industry additions ahead of Watch launch

Apple Watch at Colette

Apple Watch at Colette

Apple has picked up a few new hires and advisors to assist its growing Watch team ahead of the Apple Watch launch currently on track for March. Among them, Apple has recently hired another executive from the fashion industry, this time from Louis Vuitton, in addition to two new hires from the medical industry. Read more

Apple and French fashion retailer Colette teasing one day in-store ‘experience’ on September 30th

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On its website, French fashions retailer Colette is teasing a ‘one day only experience’, taking place at its stores on September 30th. The event runs from store open to 7 pm local time (via MacGeneration). Other details are unknown.

The invite image sort of resembles the Apple Watch home screen, so maybe this is some sort of special demonstration of the upcoming product. There is a possibility that Colette will sell the device in its store when the Watch is released ‘early next year’. Although this would make sense due to the connection with fashion, it would still be weird for the company to demo the product in public when it is still many months off release.

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Vogue editor delivers a fashion industry verdict on the Apple Watch [video]

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Lisa Armstrong, a contributing editor to Vogue and former Fashion Writer of the Year in the UK, has provided a fashion industry verdict on the Apple Watch – and if she speaks for the rest of the fashion world, Apple should be feeling pretty happy right now. Writing in the Telegraph, she said:

The Apple Watch […] looks terrific, although most of us will deploy a fraction of its potential. Would I like one? Yes. I love watches, and I’m a sucker for a good looking gadget […] [With the Apple Watch] the company is entering the style arena. It should be one hell of a show.

Apple always knew that the watch would need to succeed as a fashion accessory every bit as much as a gadget. The above image – from the Apple website – tells its own story… Read more

Apple will reportedly unveil its wearable product alongside new iPhones next month

Last month Re/code’s John Paczkowski reported that Apple plans to introduce its new iPhone models at an event scheduled for next month, and today Re/code’s Paczkowski reports that Apple will also reveal its wearable product (i.e. iWatch/iBand) alongside the new iPhones:

Apple now plans to unveil a new wearable alongside the two next-generation iPhones we told you the company will debut on September 9th. […] The new device will, predictably, make good use of Apple’s HealthKit health and fitness platform. It will also — predictably — make good use of HomeKit, the company’s new framework for controlling connected devices — though it’s not clear how broadly or in what way.

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WSJ: Apple planning multiple iWatch models with as many as 10 health-related sensors

iWatch concept: Espen Oxholm

iWatch concept: Espen Oxholm

The Wall Street Journal has published a new report claiming that Apple’s upcoming entry to the smartwatch market will sport ten or more sensors for collecting health data. The report also claims that the company is working on multiple versions for the wearable device, which is expected to be released later this year.

The iWatch is expected to be a health-focused device and will likely work with Apple’s new Health application, which it debuted earlier this month at its Worldwide Developer Conference. The application and its associated framework, called HealthKit, already have built-in support for certain types of devices without the need for a third-party application.

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