Here’s how Apple plans to give stores a next-gen makeover

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Apple store istanbul
Apple Stores are about to look like this inside and out.
Photo: Apple

Memphis will be one of the first cities in the U.S. to get a ‘next generation’ Apple Store, as part of Apple’s big retail revamp that’s expected to start later this year.

Apple has applied for a $1.5 million building permit for a new storefront and interior renovation at 2031 West St, according to a new report that claims the store will be one of Apple’s first new stores with the next-gen design. It’s unclear what kind of layout the new stores will have, but Apple’s application does reveal a few details on how the company plans to gussy up the new retail locations.

Move over, Marissa! Angela Ahrendts is highest-paid woman in U.S.

Will.i.am cheesin' with Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts at the Apple Watch unveiling.
Will.i.am cheesin' with Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts at the Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/ Cult of Mac
Photo: Leander Kahney/ Cult of Mac

Stealing Angela Ahrendts away from Burberry didn’t come cheap for Apple. The new VP of retail operations quickly became one of the top paid execs at Apple in 2014, and according to a new report, the former Burberry CEO has already become the highest paid woman in the U.S., beating out Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.

Angela Ahrendts rallies the troops as Apple Watch launch looms

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Apple's retail chief sends out a video message to help prep employees for this Friday. Photo: Apple
Apple's retail chief sends out a video message to help prep employees for this Friday. Photo: Apple

In a video sent out to Apple retail employees, Apple’s senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts clarified that the Apple Watch will be arriving for many customers this Friday, but that online ordering was still the only way the Apple Watch can be purchased right now.

Ahrendts talks directly to retail employees, reminding them that the Apple Watch isn’t the only great new product aut right now, but that it is an entirely new type of product and way of selling things for Apple.

“This is not just a new product for us, this is an entirely new category,” she says in the video, “and it is the first time we’ve ever previewed a product two weeks before the availability.”

Even with the horrible audio echoes and Ahrendts’ vocal-pause-laden and seemingly unrehearsed speech, the video is a fascinating look at the messaging all Apple retail staff will be hearing this week as they prepare for the hordes of new customers looking to buy an Apple Watch or new Macbook.

Apple Watches won’t be available to buy in-store until June at earliest

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Mel Togusen, left, and her friend,  Chris Brown, look at different styles of Apple Watches. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
Sure, you can look, but don't expect to be able to buy an Apple Watch in-store until June. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

If you missed out on placing a preorder for an Apple Watch because you thought you’d be able to wait until April 24 and then buy one from your local Apple Store, prepare to be disappointed.

That’s because — according to a new memo sent to Apple Store employees by retail chief Angela Ahrendts — no Apple Watches at all will be available to buy as walk-in purchases until June at the earliest: five weeks after Apple’s wearable devices begin shipping.