Apple Stores Won't See 'Major Shift' in Operations After Reopening Worldwide

Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien recently spoke with CNBC's Josh Lipton about the future of Apple Stores amid a transition to a post-pandemic world.

apple store tower theatre
As noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber, June 15 marked the first day that all Apple Store locations were open around the world, as public health restrictions begin to ease in many countries. O'Brien confirmed that all Apple Store locations are now open, adding that more people are getting out and about as life returns to a more familiar state.

O'Brien does not anticipate a "major shift" in operations moving forward, but Apple does continue to offer customers one-on-one shopping sessions with a Specialist as well as Genius Bar reservations at many locations. The retail chief expects Apple Stores to remain a "hub of activity" with free "Today at Apple" creative sessions and more.

Apple has over 500 stores around the world, including a new Tower Theatre location in Downtown Los Angeles that opens today.

Top Rated Comments

Expos of 1969 Avatar
19 months ago

Hang on... that thumbnail... Is that how US Apple stores are currently operating?! Lmfao.
Yep, only four customers allowed in the store at the same time and they must change into blue t shirts for the full Apple experience.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
19 months ago

Apple is so full of itself. Hire a couple of cashiers and have customer focused service like a real store.
All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PDubNYC Avatar
19 months ago

All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
I use the Apple Store app on my phone to buy accessories without any need for an employee. Or at least I did prior to Covid, I haven't been in a store since then. For computers or anything they keep in the back they definitely need some more staff
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tbayrgs Avatar
19 months ago

All I’m asking for 1-2 cashier that’s it. No, I don’t need an specialist asking me bunch of questions if I need some accessories or if I want to upgrade… I just want to pay and check out. Simple as that.
As others have mentioned, the Apple Store app lets you scan and pay for non serialized products all by yourself, without talking to a store employee.

Agreed. Adding a check-out-only function/area while continuing with the specialist's ability to check people out is the best option. It would be a win-win. If I needed consultation, I could get it and buy it without having to wait in line again. If I didn't I could b-line right to the item I wanted to buy followed by the check-out line. Heck, even self-checkout with Apple Pay would be an improvement.
This has existed for a few years already, see my comment above.

That has always worked for me.

If I buy an accessory off the shelf, I present it and my credit card to an associate and he/she completes the transaction.

If I want to buy an MBP I let an associate know, who then messages a stock person to bring it out, and the transaction is then completed.

Easy peasy.
Or just do it all yourself—pay for accessories right through the Store app or purchase serialized products like iPhones, Macs, iPads, etc using express pickup from the store. Show an employee your pickup barcode and an ID and you’re out the door. Way easier than waiting for employee assistance. IIRC, prior to the pandemic, when you entered the Apple Store, if you were picking up a purchase, you could request the store bring your items right in the app—no wait to find an employee to finalize your pickup.

Do you have a personal associate? If not, you must search for one. Not so easy peasy. Going to a cashier location which is clearly marked with signage would be easy peasy. But the horror, signage would ruin the Apple store image. To hell with the poor customers who simply want to hand over their cash for the overpriced accessories in a timely manner and get out of the store.
See previous comments above. Will almost certainly be quicker than waiting for a Store associate or a cashier line to help.

Self checkout for many products (probably only accessories, though) is possible with the Apple Store app!
Exactly.

Apple makes is easier to purchase their stuff than pretty much any other retailer with physical brick and mortar stores. Their stores are crazy busy, always have been and will continue that way because is the popularity of their product. Just use the systems they’ve put in place. Need to make a quick purchase, use the store app. Need some guidance, schedule a one-on-one shopping appointment. Can’t really get much simpler considering the circumstances.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
19 months ago
I hope Apple does something about the Apple stores always being too crowded.

I get that’s what makes Apple stores a special place to hangout but it’s so hard to find a specialist to check out.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Expos of 1969 Avatar
19 months ago

I hope Apple does something about always being too crowded.

I get that’s what makes Apple stores a special place to hangout but it’s so hard to find a specialist to check out.
Apple is so full of itself. Hire a couple of cashiers and have customer focused service like a real store.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple mask mandates

Apple Ending Mask Mandates in Many Stores, Plans to Reintroduce In-Person Classes

Tuesday February 22, 2022 2:18 pm PST by
Apple is no longer requiring customers to wear masks when visiting Apple Stores in many locations across the United States, reports Bloomberg. Apple has dropped mask mandates following changes in local guidelines and a reduction in COVID-19 cases. Employees have been informed of the mask updates, and Apple has also updated its website to provide details on which locations are no longer...
Apple Al Maryah Island preview aerial

Apple Previews Al Maryah Island Store Opening This Friday in Abu Dhabi

Thursday February 24, 2022 3:31 am PST by
Apple has previewed Apple Al Maryah Island, a new retail store from the company in Abu Dhabi's financial district that is set to open this Friday. Elevated above steps of cascading water, Apple Al Maryah Island introduces several new store design elements that are reflective of its surroundings. "Absolute Black" granite stone has been used to pave two ramps that cut through the water and...
apple carnegie library store

Apple Store Closures Surpass 20 Today Across the U.S. as COVID Cases Rise [Updated]

Monday December 27, 2021 9:27 am PST by
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the number of Apple retail stores in the U.S. that are temporarily closed today has surpassed 20. Not all of the closures are related to the virus, with five stores closed in Washington state following inclement weather. The latest high-profile locations to be shut for business include Apple Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C., Apple Century City in Los...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Black Unity Braided Solo Loop Available at Select Apple Stores Starting Today

Tuesday February 1, 2022 4:30 am PST by
The new Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch is available starting today at select Apple Store locations around the world. Priced at $99 in the United States, the special edition Black Unity band is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 4 and later. In addition to Apple Stores, the band can be ordered online through Apple.com or the Apple Store app for a limited time....
apple store turkey 1

Apple Customers in Turkey Being Turned Away at Retail Stores as Halt on Product Sales Continues

Wednesday November 24, 2021 10:17 am PST by
Apple customers in Turkey are being turned away at retail stores by staff following the halt of online product sales in the country, although the exact reason for the in-store sales halt is unclear. According to macReports, the halt is due to rapid currency fluctuations as the Turkish lira has declined significantly in recent days, and store staff are telling customers that normal sale...
apple store employees los angeles tower

Some Apple Store Employees in U.S. Reportedly Working to Unionize

Friday February 18, 2022 6:06 am PST by
The Washington Post today reports that employees at some Apple retail stores in the U.S. are quietly working to unionize. The report claims that groups of employees working for at least two stores are preparing to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board in the near future, and at least a half dozen more locations are said to be in earlier stages of the unionization process....
Apple retail Today at Apple Lady Gaga

Apple Resumes In-Person 'Today at Apple' Sessions in the United States

Thursday March 3, 2022 6:52 am PST by
Apple today announced that it is resuming in-person "Today at Apple" sessions at Apple Stores across the United States. Starting on March 7, Apple will resume the in-person sessions in time to celebrate Women's History Month. Apple invites music fans and creators of all skill levels to their local Apple Store to explore remixing music in GarageBand, using music by Lady Gaga. During the...
apple tower theatre

Apple's Flagship Tower Theatre Store Opening in Los Angeles on June 24

Friday June 11, 2021 9:26 am PDT by
Apple has been working on an Apple Store at the iconic Tower Theatre in Los Angeles for years now, and the new location is set to open later this month on June 24. Apple Tower Theatre is the first retail store in downtown Los Angeles, and it's located in L.A.'s historic Broadway Theater District. This location was the city's retail hub for the first half of the twentieth century, and is now...

Popular Stories

Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
rapid security response

Apple Releases Another Rapid Security Response Update for iOS 16.2 Beta Users

Monday November 28, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released a Rapid Security Response update that is available for those running the iOS 16.2 beta, marking the launch of the second RSR update since the feature was released in iOS 16. The Rapid Security Response Update is designed to provide iOS 16.2 beta users with bug fixes without the need to install a full update. The initial RSR release for iOS 16.2 beta users was a test with ...
twitter elon musk

Elon Musk Claims Apple Has 'Mostly Stopped' Offering Ads on Twitter and Is Making Moderation Demands

Monday November 28, 2022 10:42 am PST by
Apple has cut back on its Twitter advertising, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet, Musk said that Apple has "mostly stopped" its Twitter ads, asking if Apple hates "free speech." Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should "publish all censorship actions" taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had moderation discussions ...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...