This morning, Apple announced “Today at Apple,” a new push to roll out a new experience to all 495 Apple stores:
Apple today announced plans to launch dozens of new educational sessions next month in all 495 Apple stores ranging in topics from photo and video to music, coding, art and design and more. The hands-on sessions, collectively called “Today at Apple,” will be led by highly-trained team members, and in select cities world-class artists, photographers and musicians, teaching sessions from basics and how-to lessons to professional-level programs.
The new program offers more than 60 different sessions, including photo walks, hands-on projects for kids, coding sessions, lessons on pro apps and more.
In an interview with CBS, Apple’s SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts said:
So we call the software of the store that we are launching the end of May – we call that Today at Apple.
That “software” will roll out across Apple’s nearly 500 stores, many of which will be changed literally overnight. Ahrendts calls it all an effort to create “town squares” where customers engage with their devices and their communities.
A lot of the big online guys have said they’re opening stores. Amazon’s investing in stores. Google’s investing in stores. … Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for – right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks,”’ Ahrendts said. “And you know, I’ve told the teams, “I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, ‘Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?'”
Apple stores have had training and one-off events for years, but this is a more focused effort in turning Apple stores into community hubs. To facilitate them, stores that have not been updated to the new design will receive upgraded AV equipment as needed.
While I’m the first person to complain that Apple stores are already often too busy and sometimes under-staffed, I can see what the company is trying to do here, and I applaud it. The Apple store should be a hub for those in the Mac and iOS community, and serve to educate and inspire Apple’s customers.