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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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)

Top Stories

bronx apple store

New York City's Newest Apple Store Features Dedicated Pickup Zone

Friday September 24, 2021 11:28 am PDT by
Apple this week opened its newest Apple Store in New York City, Apple The Mall at Bay Plaza, which also happens to be the first Apple retail location in the Bronx. Apple Store aficionado Michael Steeber teamed up with Storeteller for a virtual 360-degree walkthrough of the new location, giving us an in-depth look at the features and improvements that Apple has brought to its latest Apple...
today at apple banner

Apple Returns to In-Person 'Today at Apple' Sessions in Europe

Wednesday September 1, 2021 4:04 am PDT by
Apple has returned to in-person Today at Apple sessions in its retail stores in Europe, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, and Brussels, offering local communities a chance to gather once again to learn, collaborate, and explore the world of Apple's devices and services. Apple, due to the global health crisis, halted in-person Today at Apple...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
maxresdefault

'Today at Apple' Session Explores Taking Expressive Pet Portraits

Wednesday August 25, 2021 6:26 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new "Today at Apple" session on YouTube, exploring how to shoot expressive pet portrait photos, with the help of photographer Sophie Gamand and Jahmyra from Today at Apple. The playful session encourages participants to use their iPhone at the correct height, tune into the pet's personality, and take a look at showcase pet portraits for inspiration and top takeaways. ...
apple store down

Apple Online Store Down Ahead of Apple Watch Series 7 Pre-Orders

Friday October 8, 2021 12:03 am PDT by
Apple's online store and Apple Store app purchasing system are down ahead of Apple Watch Series 7 pre-orders, which are set to begin at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States. "You're... early," reads the Apple Store message when visiting the U.S. website, which comes with a reminder that device pre-orders begin at 5:00 a.m. Apple has been doing new device pre-orders at that time since...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares New 'Today at Apple' Session on How to Shoot Portrait Photos on iPhone

Friday August 20, 2021 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new "Today at Apple" session on YouTube with photographer Mark Clennon on how to properly take "powerful portrait" photos using the built-in camera and Camera app on the iPhone. Apple has begun promoting and posting Today at Apple sessions on YouTube due to the global health crisis. The company was planning to bring back its session to its in-person retail stores at the...
Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature

First Apple Watch Series 7 Orders Arriving to Customers in New Zealand and Australia

Thursday October 14, 2021 3:13 pm PDT by
It's Friday, October 15 in New Zealand and Australia, which means it's Apple Watch Series 7 launch day. Customers in that part of the world are always the first to get their hands on new devices due to time zone differences. Apple Watch Series 7 models are now beginning to arrive to customers who pre-ordered on Friday, October 8, and new Apple Watch owners are sharing photos on Instagram,...
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...
maxresdefault

'Today at Apple' Sessions Coming to YouTube, Starting With 'Peanuts' Video

Wednesday July 14, 2021 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced that its free "Today at Apple" creative sessions are expanding to YouTube, as reported by CNET. The first session on YouTube was uploaded today and explores how to draw yourself as a "Peanuts" character in the Pages app using an iPad and Apple Pencil with the help of Apple TV+ series "The Snoopy Show" storyboard artist Krista Porter and Apple retail employee Anthony....
iphone 13 display pro max

Over The Last 14 Years, iPhone Prices Have Gone Up More Than 80%

Thursday October 14, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Since its launch in 2007, the price of the iPhone has gone up more than 80% around the world, according to a new study that looked at iPhone prices all over the world and their increase and decrease over the years. According to the study conducted by Self, since its launch in 2007 and subsequent annual upgrades, the price of iPhones has increased more than 80%, now costing over $400 more on...