Angela Ahrendts: 'The Days of Waiting in Line' at Apple Stores Are Over

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has issued an internal memo to retail employees that encourages store staff to direct customers to the Apple Online Store to purchase the Apple Watch and new MacBook, according to Business Insider. Ahrendts says that this is "a significant change in mindset" for Apple, noting that the long lines that typically form on Apple product launch days "are over" at retail stores.

"Get in line online

The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers. The Apple Store app and our online store make it much easier to purchase Apple Watch and the new MacBook. Customers will know exactly when and where their product arrives.

This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen. Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You'll make their day."

Apple previously outlined changes to its so-called "Customer Journey" in leaked training documents obtained by MacRumors last month, emphasizing that retail employees will be focused on "reducing wait times and physical lines" and ensuring that customers get the Apple Watch that is best for them.

Customer Journey Apple Watch
One way Apple will limit in-store waiting times for the Apple Watch is by requiring reservations for pickup at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, although Business Insider notes that in-store pickup will not be available whatsoever to U.K. customers at launch. U.S. customers will be able to reserve for pickup, although stock will likely be tight compared to online availability.

Apple Stores will have limited in-store supply of the Apple Watch when the wrist-worn device goes on sale April 24. Apple will begin accepting online pre-orders for the Apple Watch on April 10, the same day try-on appointments will be available for customers, in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom. Read how to pre-order the Apple Watch and what to expect at a try-on appointment for useful info ahead of time.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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67 months ago
So a person shows up at an Apple Store, excited to get their hands on the latest product. An employee tells them to go home and order online instead. How does this make the customer happy?

Feels like a speech from 1999 to me.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
I think some actually prefer to wait in line, it’s all part of the experience. Maybe this is specifically for the Watch and MacBook for now but she needs to make sure the shopping experience doesn’t diminish.
It’s a delicate balance.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago
Aren't the lines kinda like a cult following? People wait for days and love it! It's like a badge of honor. Not to mention that anyone who is interested in an apple product on launch day knows full well that they are available online.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
There's no doubt a very good reason behind her thought process but to me this seems odd.

Isn't the hype surrounding a new Apple product and loads of people waiting in line great exposure for Apple?!
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

I think the lines were good publicity at one point but those days seem to be long gone. I think the iPhone 6 launch killed it.


The lines of good natured Apple fans who wanted to own the product and displayed a friendly, 'we're in this together' attitude, were good things, sadly, it's now lines of scalpers pushing and shoving, being threatening and swallowing up as much stock as they can to turn a quick profit thats ruined it.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
Maybe they know the lines won't be long so they're trying to mask it with this?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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