Angela Ahrendts Says Apple Store Employee Retention Rate Rose to Historic High of Nearly 89% During Her Tenure
On a recent episode of the RBC Disruptors podcast with host John Stackhouse, Apple's former retail chief Angela Ahrendts revealed that Apple's retail employee retention rate rose from 61 percent to a "historic high" of "nearly 89 percent" during her five-year tenure at the company.
"I don't feel that Apple retail is facing near the headwinds that maybe a lot of other retailers are because we've spent the last five years almost changing and evolving, and refocusing if you will," added Ahrendts, citing strong retention rates, redesigned stores, improved communication tools, and more.
Of course, with Apple being one of the world's largest companies, Ahrendts admitted that "there's a challenge a day."
"I think when you run a business that big and that global, and nearly 70,000 employees when I left, there's a challenge a day. I think that if it is a challenge, it's your job to fix the challenge. So when I came in, there were a lot of systems that weren't connected, there wasn't a way to communicate."
Under Ahrendts, Apple introduced new communication tools for its retail employees, including a "Hello" app that provides a daily summary of "need to know" information and a "Loop" app that allows retail employees to share useful tips and tricks amongst each other to help do their jobs better.
Ahrendts also reflected on being recruited by Apple CEO Tim Cook, her early days at Apple, her vision of the retail industry as a whole, and much more. The full interview can be listened to on SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts.
Ahrendts left Apple in April. Her position was filled by Apple's longtime human resources chief Deirdre O'Brien, who now oversees both HR and retail.