Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is giving its stores a facelift and the work is beginning at home. The remodeled Apple store in San Francisco will open to the public this weekend and more overhauled stores will be unveiled around the world over the coming years. Apple has about 480 stores globally that will be restyled.
The process of remodeling Apple stores coincides with the 15th anniversary of the first ever Apple store. From one perspective, it may seem that Apple is implementing store design lessons it learnt over the last 15 years to make its outlets look better. But this is probably just a company attempting to attract new customers to its stores and inspire existing ones to buy more.
iPhone sales shrink 16%
For its March 2016 quarter, Apple surprised Wall Street with sales that fell from a corresponding quarter a year earlier. The development also marked the first time in nearly 13 years that Apple’s sales declined. A 16% drop in iPhone sales during the quarter produced the sales decline.
Reviving interest in its products
As such, the idea of remodeling stores appears to be predicated on reviving interest in Apple’s products at a time when demand seems to have weakened. In addition to restyling its worldwide stores, Apple is also in the process of opening up new markets for its products. For example, CEO Tim Cook is touring India in what is seen as an effort to pave the way for more iPhone sales in the world’s second most populous country.
Apple is said to be interested in operating company-owned stores in India that will sell refurbished iPhones at a lower cost to Indians. Because of the price-sensitive Indian consumer, the selling of used iPhones in the country helps Apple to keep up competition with the low-cost Android smartphones that sell for the less than $150 in the country.
These are all indications that Apple is hoping to replicate its success in China to India. Cook announced that Apple will set up a mapping technology office in the Indian city of Hyderabad.