Apple's Ahrendts taking stores upscale

It's been two years since Angela Ahrendts left Burberry to be be Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) VP of retail, and there's mounting evidence that Ahrendts plans for stores to feature more high-priced products and the merchandising displays to match.

Ahrendts recently signed off on new merchandise, including a $1990 wireless speaker by French audio maker Deviate called Phantom, according to The New York Times. She has implemented appointments and private showrooms for the Apple Watch, some models of which are priced over $1,000.

Additionally, Ahrendts has discouraged shoppers from camping out in front of stores prior to new product releases, something of a tradition for Apple fans.

Apple has long sold expensive accessories online, but tends to feature a handful of more affordable products from third-party vendors in stores. For the most part, Apple features its own branded products.

Phantom will be sold in just 14 stores initially. While a single speaker isn't a groundswell of change, it is one more piece in the evolution of Apple stores, the most profitable per square foot retail environment in operation.

For more:
-See this article in The New York Times  (subscription)

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