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New Apple Retail Chief Was Highly Involved in Burberry's Watch Retailing Efforts, Was Hired Over The Summer

AAEarlier today, Apple announced the hiring of Angela Ahrendts, the current CEO of Burberry, as its new head of the company's retail and online efforts. Now, more details are coming out about how she was hired and some of her activities at Burberry that could be useful at Apple going forward.

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin, who now blogs on her own site, writes that Ahrendts loves watches and rolled out a high-end watch brand under her tenure at Burberry. This retailing experience could have an impact if Apple, as is rumored, introduces some sort of smart watch product.
I also hear she took particular interest in the watch retailing space in Burberry stores. Let’s just say her passion for watches is a coincidence. Or maybe just a plus. Needless to say the merchandising around the iWatch, whenever it arrives, will be remarkable.
Separately, The Wall Street Journal reports that Ahrendts agreed to join Apple several months ago, but the announcement of the hire was held back while Burberry determined her successor. It also reported that Apple was not the only company courting Ahrendts.
In pursuing Ms. Ahrendts, Apple won out over a more recent bid for Ms. Ahrendts by J.C. Penney. The department-store chain pursued the Burberry leader for its own top job, according to a person familiar with the situation.

J.C. Penney is looking to replace Mr. Johnson—who once held the Apple role that Ms. Ahrendts is stepping into. Mr. Johnson left J.C. Penney after his attempted makeover sent sales there crashing.
Angela Ahrendts will join Apple next spring after managing the CEO transition at Burberry.

Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago
Anytime I see an article mention the iWatch, I feel like I'm in the minority, as I love my iPod Nano 'watch' and am stupidly excited for when the real iWatch arrives.

This is my setup (not the clock face, per se), which I find quite elegant:


I always get compliments on it, so from my perspective, a smartwatch isn't particularly a farfetched concept, and can also look pretty great.

And if you're any bit of a watch collector, you'll know any likely price the iWatch retails at ($100-$300 probably) isn't particularly comparable to other high-end watch prices out there (though would be immensely more useful). I only have a couple 'nice' watches myself (Belova, Coach), but I seldom even wear them as I prefer my Nano watch, which was fairly cheaper.

EDIT: Ha! Sorry folks, the band was originally made by a company called iWatchz and can be found at this particular Amazon link (http://www.amazon.com/iWatchz-STLDBRDYTP-Timepiece-Stainless-Deploy-Dark/dp/B00566JHQG) (I actually got mine from an Apple store). But I think the company changed their name to kubxlab and this band (plus many others) can be found here: http://www.kubxlab.com/collections/ipod/iPod-nano-6G (mine is from the Timepiece Collection)
Rating: 15 Votes
14 months ago
Her eyes are really close together.
Rating: 13 Votes
14 months ago

Wow, MR is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel here.


How so? It's important to learn about new executives as they will greatly influence Apple.
Rating: 10 Votes
14 months ago

Wow, MR is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel here.


Quoting the Wall Street Journal is scraping the bottom of the barrel?
Rating: 8 Votes
14 months ago
If JCP fired Mr. Johnson in large part because his desire to class the place up a bit scared away their "core" customers; I can't believe what they were on when they thought Angela Ahrendts would be a good fit for their "brand".

I was willing to give their board of directors the benefit of the doubt in letting Ron go when they did, but if this is for real, it just sends a message that they may be out of their depth.

Karl P
Rating: 7 Votes
14 months ago
Ok, got it they hired a good looking women..... took three front page stories to sink in.

How about more pictures like this?
Rating: 6 Votes
14 months ago

Her eyes are really close together.


Agreed, I can't believe they hired her! Close-eyed girl will ruin everything. AAAAGH!
Rating: 6 Votes
14 months ago
For what it's worth, Fossil make's Burberry's watches.
Rating: 4 Votes
14 months ago

If JCP fired Mr. Johnson in large part because his desire to class the place up a bit scared away their "core" customers; I can't believe what they were on when they thought Angela Ahrendts would be a good fit for their "brand".


Karl P


Classing up the joint wasn't Johnson's downfall; not understanding the core JCP customer was. Johnson presumed all customers are created equally, but they are not. JCP customers are classic value oriented and (phony) sales and (fake) coupons make them warm and fuzzy.

Johnson got rid of those for the most part in trade for lower everyday pricing. That plus upscaling the interiors gave JCP customers the feeling they were paying more even though they were not while it didn't attract fashion customers that would have never walked into JCP...and still won't.

Had Johnson done either the value pricing OR the new interiors he'd probably still have a job.

Not sure her love for watches will transfer that well to her role as SVP Retail & Online


She successfully launched a new watch line out of thin air. How can that hurt? But her claim to fame is saving and expanding a fading and stogy clothing brand. The genius of the Apple stores design was the brain child of former CEO of GAP. So there is definitely good history there.
Rating: 4 Votes
14 months ago

Anytime I see an article mention the iWatch, I feel like I'm in the minority, as I love my iPod Nano 'watch' and am stupidly excited for when the real iWatch arrives.

This is my setup (not the clock face, per se), which I find quite elegant:
Image (http://toolsandtoys.net.s3.amazonaws.com/img/iwatch-timepiece-collection-ipod-nano-wrist-band.jpg)

I always get compliments on it, so from my perspective, a smartwatch isn't particularly a farfetched concept, and can also look pretty great.

And if you're any bit of a watch collector, you'll know any likely price the iWatch retails at ($100-$300 probably) isn't particularly comparable to other high-end watch prices out there (though would be immensely more useful). I only have a couple 'nice' watches myself (Belova, Coach), but I seldom even wear them as I prefer my Nano watch, which was fairly cheaper.


I like the watch band. What's the name of it? Thanks
Rating: 4 Votes

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