Apple has hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to runs its retail division, which means she’ll be leading both its online and physical retail stores. Though some may question the wisdom of hiring someone from the fashion industry, Ahrendts has been very successful in making the once iconic Burberry brand into something the younger generation wants.
Before joining Burberry in 2006, the company was trading at £4.30, or $6.87 a share – but this has by 268 percent during Ahrendts’ tenure, and the company’s stock is now trading at £15.85, or $25.32 a share.
Ahrendts’ official title at Apple will be senior vice president of retail and online stores, a position than has been vacant since 2012 when John Browett was fired for his move to reduce costs by limiting new hires and store hours in Apple’s retail outlets. Apple prides itself on the great customer service it provides, and many believe that Browett’s plan hindered that. The move was seen as a huge mistake which resulted in the company backtracking and sticking to its old ways. Since then, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been in search for someone who will be able to run both its online and retail stores.
“I have wanted one person to lead both of these teams for some time because I believe it will better serve our customers, but I had never met anyone whom I felt confident could lead both until I met Angela,” Cook wrote.
“We met for the first time last January, and I knew in that meeting that I wanted her to join Apple.”
Apple Stores used to help drive product sales but these are now stagnating. This could be because consumers are growing bored of the bland interiors, or perhaps it’s that Apple’s products no longer deliver the same “magical” feeling as they did before.
Another possible reason as to why Ahrendts was considered for the position is because of China. She was able to make Burberry a very popular brand in China, something Apple has yet to achieve.
Ahrendts will also be overseeing the relocation of 23 existing Apple Stores, as well as opening 27 new stores, with more than three-quarters of the new stores outside the US.
This isn’t the first time Apple has looked to the fashion industry for new hires, an indication that it knows it needs some flare to keep consumers interested.
Apple previously hired Paul Deneve, former chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, to be vice president in charge of special projects; Enrique Atienza, senior vice president at Levi Strauss & Co., to run its U.S. retail operations; and Nike design director Ben Shaffer.
iPhone 5c Proves to be Decidedly Unfashionable
It was previously reported that Apple halved its iPhone 5c production from 300,000 units down to 150,000 units a day. Some suggested that the high price of the iPhone 5c was the reason consumers weren’t interested in the device, while others stated that Apple already has enough stocks on hand, thus the decrease in production.
Whatever the reason, things are looking even worse with the Wall Street Journal now reporting that Apple has notified its Taiwanese assemblers Pegatron Corp., and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., that it will reducing iPhone 5c orders for the fourth quarter. Pegatron, which is said to be responsible for two thirds of the iPhone 5Cs’ production, was told that orders will be cut by less than 20 percent, while Hon Hai, which assembles the remaining third of the low-cost iPhone production, was told orders would be cut by a third.
Investors are said to be disappointed with the iPhone 5c’s price as they had been urging the company to produce low cost devices to be able to cater to emerging markets – much like rival Samsung does with its array of high, mid, and low-end devices to cater for consumers of every ilk.