Apple is all about getting Gen Z away from the food court and Starbucks counter and plugged into its stores.
In an interview with CBS earlier this week, Angela Ahrendts, the senior vice president of retail, explained how she wants young Apple fans to say, "Meet me at Apple," instead of hanging out elsewhere, sipping on unicorn frappaccinos.
"A lot of the big online guys have said they’re opening stores. Amazon’s investing in stores. Google’s investing in stores. ... Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place. ‘Meet me at Starbucks,”’ Ahrendts said. “I’ve told the teams, ‘I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, 'Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?’”
To get those young consumers, the redesigned stores are starting to serve as more than just a computer shop, but a gathering place. In San Francisco, the "Genius Bar" has become the "Genius Grove," lined with plants and designed with open meeting spaces (with access to chargers) to become more of a hangout spot.
Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images
That's the direction Apple is going with its stores.
"This is the largest product that Apple produces," Ahrendts told CBS. "So if you think of it, the hardware, which is the architecture of the store. The software is what happens in the store..."
One of those software upgrades at 500 stores around the world is the newly announced "Today at Apple" educational program. That means free workshops, classes and even performances.
Basically, Apple wants you to spend all your free time at its stores, no matter if you are Gen Z, Y or X.