Making sense of Angela Ahrendts’ departure and the future of Apple retail

Terrific, thoughtful piece about Angela Ahrendts’ departure and Deirdre O’Brien’s appointment.

One highlight (of many):

Across the U.S., retailers struggle to make ends meet. Since Ahrendts began at Apple in 2014, legendary brands like Sears, Bon-Ton, Toys R Us, RadioShack, and countless others have filed for bankruptcy. Mall operators face the challenge of repurposing massive vacant anchor stores. Yet Apple stores are consistently filled to the brim. The same success that has allowed Apple to thrive amidst a sea of store closures has become a lightning rod for retail woes.

It’s true that making an appointment at an Apple store often means days of waiting for an available slot, and walk-ins are almost impossible. Since 2014, Ahrendts has guided the launch of the Apple Watch, iPad Pro, AirPods, HomePod, and yearly iPhone models. Each of these products have led to growing customer demand even as Apple increases its store footprint globally. This strain on resources would’ve occurred no matter who was at the helm. Simply increasing the number of Apple stores worldwide brings with it a new list of problems long enough to fill another article.

Great read.