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Paul Kunert

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Paul Kunert is the editor of Channel Register
By | Paul Kunert 27th November 2012 18:13

Apple's former retail boss spills magic beans on store strategy

Ron Jonhson on improving icommunities, transforming ilives

Apple doesn't just construct retail stores it brews a magical experience that transforms your very existence, or so said Ron Johnson, former retail veep at the firm.

Did someone say ahem...bullshit? No of course not.

The man - now CEO at loss-making J.C. Penny - gave an insight into the cerebral workings of an Apple exec during a film shot by Washington Square Films and pushed out to fanzine 9to5mac.

The film is way more than a year old - it is dated July 2011, many months before Johnson left the role for pastures new to be replaced by Brit John Browett.

Johnson said that when Apple launched its first retail outlet in 2001, "our first stores were like many retailers, prototypical stores put in a mall but then we discovered if you can tailor a store uniquely to its setting it can actually improve communities."

One community Apple hasn't helped to make better is the legion of loyal resellers that built shiny stores at some expense only to find that Apple was setting up stall around the corner.

"If I look at our stores half the physical space is devoted to ownership experiences, getting your personal timing, coming into the Genius bar, its about creating a great experience once you've bought the product and when we do it right they realise this store can be transformational to their life," he said.

The quotes keep on coming from Johnston, who said "most retailers view their space as the square footage they rent, we view our space as the environment we inhabit."

Apple's glass-fronted stores are things of beauty compared to other retail outlets, but they are also very successful for one other reason - they make shed loads of cash.

It's this sort of highfalutin nonsense and the ridiculous product launches which whip silly people into a religious retail fervour that are required to justify the premium prices Apple slaps on its kit. ®

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