Angela Ahrendts says Burberry management transition ‘well underway’ as reports claim delay

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After becoming a Dame of the British Empire in a ‘low key’ ceremony earlier this month, rumor had it that Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts would be leaving her CEO position at Burberry this month. Apple has never confirmed as much apart from saying Ahrendts would start in the spring back in its original announcement, but today reports claim Ahrendts might stick around at Burberry a little longer. The Guardian reports that while Ahrendts is free to leave after serving her 6 months notice and helping transition in a new CEO, she could earn as much as an £8m or $13.5m bonus if she stays at Burberry through June: Read more

Condé Nast’s Epicurious teams up with inMarket for in-store iBeacon experience

Today, Condé Nast’s Epicurious becomes the latest to take advantage of iBeacons in-store by teaming up with inMarket to beam location-based notifications and offers to shoppers in retail environments. I previously wrote about inMarket,  an in-store marketing platform that recently started rolling out iBeacons to retailers (mostly grocery stores), when it announced Zatarain’s would become the first consumer packaged goods brand to use the platform. The company was using inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) platform to beam notifications and offers directly to shopper’s smartphones when in proximity of one of inMarket’s in-store iBeacons. Today the company is announcing its biggest news yet after recently expanding into New York, Boston, and Miami with the addition of Condé Nast’s Epicurious as the first major app partner to take advantage of the M2M iBeacon platform.  Read more

Apple drops its 30 day return policy on iPhones down to 14 days

iPhone5c_34L_AllColors_PRINTIn the recent past, customers who purchased an iPhone directly from the Apple Online Store and in Apple Retail Stores have had 30 days to return the device for any reason. The only stipulation was that it had to be undamaged and include all of the original accessories. According to an internal document provided by one of our retail sources, Apple plans to change its iPhone return policy to just 14 days beginning on March 13th. However the return policy currently published on Apple.com already reflects this change. All other products purchased from Apple are already subject to a 14 day return policy.

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San Francisco gives final approval for brand-new Union Square Apple Retail Store

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Re/code reports that the city of San Francisco has finally granted Apple permission to begin work on its iconic new Union Square retail center, which the company has said will be “more iconic than the glass cube in New York City.” The store, pictured in the rendering above, has been in the works for almost a year as the city insisted upon various changes to preserve historic elements and allow for improved accessibility.

The store will replace Apple’s existing Stockton Street location, adding about fifty new jobs in the process. Apple’s new building will feature a two-floor design with 23-foot glass sliding doors and a plaza behind the store that will be shared with the hotel next door with free Wi-Fi to visitors.

The iconic Ruth Asawa fountain behind the store will be relocated (slightly) to accommodate the design of the plaza, which caused some concern among members of the city’s planning commission, though Apple has assured the city that the fountain will be entirely preserved during the process.

More renderings of the gorgeous new store can be found below:

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Apple to open local, mobile-focused stores in India to promote entry-level products

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Apple is planning to change up retail in India in a big—and small—way, according to a report by The Economic Times. According to the Times, Apple plans to open a collection of small, iOS-centric stores. The stores will be setup by local distribution partners, not by first-party retail staff. While the main focus of these locations will be on mobile devices, Apple’s other offerings will also be represented to some degree in each store.

In fact, the focus of these stores will not even be Apple’s latest devices, according to the report. Instead, these local shops will focus on the less-expensive models that Apple offers, including the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. Macs and other products in these smaller stores will also be lower-priced models. The goal of the local establishments seems to be to place Apple’s most affordable products as close as possible potential customers—a neccessary move if Apple is to continue gaining ground in the country.

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Retail section of Apple.com updated with new design inspired by iOS 7

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Apple quietly updated the retail section of its website today with a new look that more closely resembles iOS 7. Where the previous version of these pages used content boxes, borders, textured backgrounds, and gradients, the new page instead utilizes ample whitespace and thinner typefaces.

The change is probably best illustrated on the section’s home page, where images previously constrained by content boxes now fill the entire page. On the “Learn” page, buttons with heavy gradients have been replaced by thinly-outlined, lighter versions of the previous design. Gradient-filled headers have disappeared from every page, now replaced by unadorned text.

Oddly, the “Make a Reservation” button that allowed users to quickly create a Genius Bar appointment has been removed from the site’s navigation. Appointments can only be made by navigating to the Genius Bar page and clicking a link in the first paragraph of that page’s content. The Concierge page has not been updated to the new design yet.

You’ll find a bunch of before-and-after comparisons and take our poll on the new design below:

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