Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson Explains Why People Pay More For Apple Products

Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson Explains Why People Pay More For Apple Products

When Ron Johnson left Target to become Apple’s Retail Chief in 2000, people thought he was absolutely nuts. Apple was in danger of going out of business, and other PC manufacturers like Gateway were closing their retail locations. Johnson ignored all the warning signs because he says he saw that Apple was about to be a huge part of the digital revolution. He also recognized that Apple offered consumers something other companies couldn’t – amazing products and an incredible retail experience.

In a recent interview at Fortune Conferences, Johnson explained why customers choose to come to the Apple store to buy their products when they could get them on Amazon or Best Buy for a lot cheaper:

You can get every Apple product every day cheaper at Amazon, many times elsewhere. But people come to the store, and that’s because the store offers something people need, which is really help and support and connecting, because I think there’s always been this idea in a high tech world, people really strive for high touch.

If you really look at what happens at an Apple store, it’s connections happening. It’s a genius with a person trying to solve a problem. It’s someone getting personal training. It’s someone getting their products set up before they leave the store. It’s someone learning about something that might change their life. You know, so there’s these connections that are really necessary in a digital world, you know, because you want that offset of the physical world. You want that physical experience.

In November of 2011, Johnson left Apple to become the CEO of JC Penny – another struggling company that he hopes to turn around. Under Johnson’s guidance, Apple quickly became one of the world’s most successful retailers. Apple stores earn more money per square-foot than any other retail location in the world. Something that wouldn’t have been possible without Ron Johnson and Steve Jobs’s vision of providing customers with the excellent experience you can now receive inside Apple’s metal and glass palaces.

Related
  • Lee Crocker

    Ive owned my macs for years, i pay more because they last longer, enough said.

  • ddevito

    Because Apple sells 262 iPhones a minute, and there’s a sucker born every minute

  • norfolkmustard

    Interestingly, he’s implementing an RFID checkout system at his new employer http://www.businessinsider.com/jcpenney-ceo-ron-johnson-wants-to-eliminate-traditional-checkout-2012-7

  • djrobsd

    I’m just the opposite of what Ron says.. I don’t prefer to go to the Apple store to buy my products, I prefer to go to Best Buy where there are shorter lines and less wait times. In addition, at Best Buy, I get my Reward Zone points, and 18 months interest free financing. I also have 45 days to return it, so if I get a 16 gig iPad and then decide that I want a 32, I can exchange it and pay the difference, no questions asked, even after the normal 14 or 30 day times have passed from most other retailers. For that, I prefer a Best Buy experience, the Apple store is just too over whelming here in Southern California most times you’ll walk in and feel clausterphoebic because there are so many people.

  • lwdesign1

    I applaud Ron Johnson’s work at Apple in creating the Apple Stores. When they first launched, all the pundits predicted a massive failure for the stores, thinking Apple would follow in the same footsteps of Gateway and other PC and electronics vendors who were going out of business. Johnson and Jobs brought back something sorely missing from retail stores for over 30 years: the concept of helpful service. In the 1970s retailers in all kinds of businesses started downsizing their staffs in an effort to save money. If you’ve shopped at a local department store or supermarket, you usually have to hunt for some time to find an employee to talk to. In my parent’s time it was never this way. Even pulling into a gas station immediately prompted one or more employees to pop out to pump your gas and clean your windshield, all without asking. Apple Stores have lots of easy to find employees to ask questions of, and in this economic time, it’s a rarity.

  • David Casey

    Ive owned my macs for years, i pay more because they last longer, enough said.

    I think you’ll find that he’s referring to people’s choice too purchase directly off Apple at RRP rather than purchase off another retailer who sells under RRP.

    Nowhere does it mention anything about the value of a product ie cheaper PC vs Apple.

  • Sherrymdl

    as Timothy implied I didnt know that any one can make $7018 in one month on the internet. have you seen this web page(Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/wUyTH

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , |