Apple's New Retail SVP Will Disrupt, Then 'Steal' Tim Cook's Job
That's the debate we were having at TheStreet this morning. And that's more like it.
ICYMI: Burberry Hire Will Further Fuel Apple's Luxury Caché. TheStreet's top tech dog Chris Ciaccia has details and makes some sense of Tim Cook tapping Angela Ahrendts as Apple's new SVP of online and offline retail.
I don't know Angela Ahrendts from the next CEO who accepts a demotion in rank to join the greatest company in the world, but, sort of like Netflix
I mean why hire the woman the great Patricia Sellers at Fortune describes as "a design fanatic, a digital evangelist, and a master of millennial marketing" if you're not going to let her do what's right (not what Steve would do) ... Question mark. Period.
If move No. 1 isn't to terminate those brand-crushing, image-trashing, slum-dwelling third-party channel "relationships" Apple has with names such as Best Buy
Ahrendts appears savvy enough to extricate Apple from these arrangements at the same time as strategizing to ensure the business doesn't take a meaningful hit. That's assuming, of course, that what Apple would lose by ditching third-world retailers would amount to more than a rounding error.
The strategy ain't rocket science. Ahrendts has the relationships at Burberry and other high-end names. Everybody in the luxury sector knows her. Replace the dime-a-dozen Best Buys and Walmarts with stores the Apple brand can not only be proud of, but thrive off of. Names such as Restoration Hardware
The products these places carry -- and the price tags they put on their items -- align practically and psychologically with Apple devices and accessories, particularly the more expensive and aspirational ones.
I identify my Apple devices, particularly my loaded Macbook Pro with Retina Display, more with the Cole Haan bag that carries them (one that I bought online from the Apple Store) than the cheap, but still serviceable Samsung television set I purchased at Best Buy. Part of Ahrendts' gig should be to up the ante in high-end accessories while she reorganizes Apple's mucked-up third party partnerships.
But, even more importantly ... take a close look at the face on the next page because ...