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Apple Retail Making Gift Card and Uniform Changes for Holiday Shopping Season

As is typical for this time of year, Apple is planning to spruce up its retail operations ahead of the end-of-the-year holiday shopping season. This year's changes in the company's retail offering include new colors for store gift cards and holiday-colored shirts for Apple employees, with retail head Angela Ahrendts reportedly introducing these holiday updates in an internal company video.

Apple-retail
Anonymous sources claim Apple's new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone. Similar to previous gift cards, these new gift cards can be used in store or online with a value up to $2000. They will debut starting today, November 17.

Other retail changes include the rollout of red holiday t-shirts to replace the traditional blue shirts for employees and the removal of the neck lanyard from the employees' standard retail uniform. The lanyard badge holders are distinctive to Apple and issued to current employees, but without the lanyard there will be more emphasis on employees introducing themselves to customers.

Apple retail stores will also begin servicing Beats Electronics products starting tomorrow, as shown in an internal memo leaked by TechnoBuffalo late last week. Retail sources have confirmed to MacRumors that the leak is genuine and that most service will not take place at stores themselves, but instead be handled through mail-in depot channels. Issues with minor items such as cables, chargers, and cables will be handled in-store.

These small modifications are part of a larger plan by Angela Ahrendts to revamp Apple's retail operations. Apple's recently appointed retail chief reportedly is focusing her efforts on mobile payments, expansion into China, and the customer's Apple Store sales experience.



Top Rated Comments

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20 months ago
You buried the lede.

The story here isn't the gift card and t-shirt colors. That's happened before. The story here is dropping the name badges that employees have worn since the first Apple Store opened.

As a visually-oriented person who has a difficult time remembering names when people just say them to me, I don't like this move. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for new employees to learn their co-workers names without them. Not a good sign when execs make changes like this without fully understanding how they'll work out in the real world.
Rating: 16 Votes
20 months ago

Anonymous sources claim Apple's new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone.


... available in $16, $64 and $128 denominations :D
Rating: 10 Votes
20 months ago

Issues with minor items such as cables, chargers, and cables will be handled in-store.


Good to see Apple doubling down on cables. And cables.
Rating: 9 Votes
20 months ago
Wonder if they'll be allowed to actually say "Merry Christmas"? :rolleyes:
Rating: 7 Votes
20 months ago

As a visually-oriented person who has a difficult time remembering names when people just say them to me, I don't like this move. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for new employees to learn their co-workers names without them. Not a good sign when execs make changes like this without fully understanding how they'll work out in the real world.


This times a million. This is a ridiculous move, and I can't believe they even considered it. Name one nationwide retail chain that doesn't require some sort of name tag. It's for a reason.
Rating: 7 Votes
20 months ago
Anonomys Employees?

"...the removal of the neck lanyard from the employees' standard retail uniform."

Without these ID badges, the employees can make-up names and have no accountability to their overall customer service standards.

I think this is a bad decision. :apple:
Rating: 6 Votes
20 months ago

Lol If the Apple Store was trying to be like every other retailer, they wouldn't be the most successful brick and mortar retailer in the world.

By this simpleminded "lol-gic", Apple should open only on holidays, not accept credit cards, and require customers to bark like a dog before entering ... just to be different from every other retailer.

Retailers use name badges because they're customer-friendly. Furthermore, the customers seem to like Apple's. They aren't broke, so trying to "fix" them by getting rid of them is the worst kind of different-for-its-own-sake executive dictate. "Let's force the Specialists to keep telling people their names. That couldn't possibly get annoying for either the Specialists or for the customers, could it?"

Yeah, it could. Employees with unusual or unfamiliar names will have to repeat themselves (not a problem for your Johns and Marys, but a hassle for those with invented or "foreign" names). Customers who prefer to keep their relationships with salespeople on an impersonal basis will feel pressured to give their names in return (which I'm sure is the executive logic behind it).

But one of the reasons the Apple Store has been so successful as a retail outlet is the no-pressure salesmanship: no commissions, letting people walk in and play with the computers, etc. The psychological trick of forcing sales staff and customers to introduce themselves by name undermines that, and trust me: it will push introverted and privacy-seeking customers away.
Rating: 5 Votes
20 months ago

Anonymous sources claim Apple's new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone.


I wonder if the gift cards will bend! :D
Rating: 4 Votes
20 months ago

CEO of Burberry was Angela Ahrendts' previous position. And before you say the businesses aren't similar - Apple has been doing major things in the past year or so to become more a luxury-esque business.

Yeah, and that's another great way to push a lot of customers away. Maybe Burberry's core marketing demographic gets off on the "luxury shopping" experience, but not everyone wants to feel like they're shopping for overpriced fashionista bait. Apple Stores have been successful because they are approachable, not snooty. And in the economic reality of 21st-century America, looking like it's catering to the 1% is not going to be good for a company that's trying to grow its market share in mainstream categories like computers and phones.
Rating: 3 Votes
20 months ago

... available in $16, $64 and $128 denominations :D


Well done, sir.
Rating: 3 Votes

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