After It Murders Best Buy, Here's How Apple Should Spend Its Cash
For a company that's apparently all about control, it sure cedes quite a bit in some aspects of retail, particularly with relation to accessories.
The Apple employee who helped, and led me elsewhere, was right, they "don't have s**t" there. And that's not OK.
Nurture smart, existing relationships with startups like Nest and high-end companies such as Michael Kors (KORS) and Bose. These partnerships enhance Apple's brand image. And start making your own stuff to accessorize your products.
It baffles me that Apple obsesses over packaging, yet leaves accessories up to just about anybody.
Do No. 1 fast so you can do No. 2: Stop sending customers to inferior, soul-sucking environments such as Best Buy or the apparently fierce competition . That's unacceptable.
Check out the surroundings in SoHo. On either side of the Apple Store, there's a Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren (RL) , yet Apple's people seemingly have no choice but to send fanboys with money smoking from their pockets slumming to Best Buy?
Only part of this is about image. There's little doubt Tim Cook needs to fire a more aggressive salvo -- talking tough on earnings calls and at a conference obviously doesn't cut it -- to make the point that Apple remains, by and large, a high-end, aspirational brand.
As I suggested earlier this year, Cook should yank Apple products from Best Buy as well as most other third-party retailers . It makes more sense to sell the 128 GB iPad or something similar at a Kors or Ralph Lauren than it does anything at all at Best Buy or Wal-Mart (WMT) .
Couple that move with an initiative to sell only Apple-designed, created and branded accessories alongside product from a handful of cutting edge and/or luxury collaborators.
Pour your cash into building out what is the disgustingly high-margin iAccessory business. We have seen what Apple can do in this area with products such as the fantastic iPad Smart Cover .
It's time for Tim Cook to step up Apple's game here. In a big way.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.