In her latest video to retail store employees, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts discusses upcoming deeper integration of business sales across Apple Retail Stores as well as new back to school sales tactics for the Apple Watch. Currently, sales to small and medium-sized businesses via Apple Stores are mostly handled by a small group of specialized employees. Ahrendts says that she wants all employees to “own” business sales in order to provide a better experience to business customers.
“We want to make sure that were not building two separate teams,” Ahrendts said, according to Apple retail employees who have viewed the video. “Business is the biggest growth driver for Apple Retail over the course of the next three to four years,” she added. This deeper integration of business sales into Apple retail is yet another move toward Ahrendts’s “One Apple” approach of integrating all of Apple’s retail channels. Earlier this month, Apple embedded its online store into its main Apple.com website, while the company is preparing to do the same for its appointment services this week.
Besides talking about improvements to business sales, showing off the Apple Watch in store, and stating that a “global solution is coming shortly” for promoting Apple Music in stores, Ahrendts used her own personal experience with her children to introduce a new Apple Watch sales tactic. Ahrendts told employees that the Apple Watch is “the greatest back to school item this year” as it can be used in the classroom without a teacher seeing, unlike with a larger iPhone. “I don’t think the teachers have caught on to the Watch yet,” Ahrendts said, adding that retail staff should tell students to “jump on it before the teachers do.”
The Apple Watch has thus far seen mixed reactions from schools and teachers. Some articles on the topic have noted that the device could obviously be used to pass notes in class or even to cheat on exams. For example, some universities have banned the wearing of Apple Watches during exams, while other schools such as Penn State University are researching how the device can actually be beneficial during class time. Nonetheless, Ahrendts’s point appears to have convenience for students at its core, rather than using the device for malicious reasons.