Experiential retail is widely considered not only a trend of this year, but something retailers need to be aware of in 2017. Yesterday, Apple's retail chief Angela Ahrendts shared how the brand is capitalizing on experiential retail and introducing newly redesigned retail outlets, not just as stores, but as the company's next big products. In an interview with Fortune, Ahrendts noted that Apple's stores are the biggest product the company has produced, and how each could act as a town square for local communities.
Total Retail's Take: Ahrendts’ goal of making Apple's stores the "town squares" of cities is a lofty one, however, it can be done. Despite common perception, consumers haven't abandoned brick-and-mortar in favor of digital only mind-sets. And brands have taken notice. Consider Anthropologie's store layout that offer an inclusive experience, or The Grove in Los Angeles, a mall that has become a destination. What will make or break experiential retail, like most strategies, is the execution. After customers were underwhelmed (for the most part) by the release of the iPhone 7, Apple is going to have to focus on the capabilities of these new "town squares."