| Cult of Mac

Apple Battersea opens to cheering London crowds


London's iconic Battersea Power Station has been transformed from a coal-fired energy generator into a high-end shopping mall -- now with an Apple store!
London's iconic Battersea Power Station has been transformed from a coal-fired energy generator into a high-end shopping mall — now with an Apple store!
Photo: Rodney Minter-Brown/Unsplash License

The latest Apple retail store opened its doors Thursday in London’s iconic Battersea Power Station. Shoppers lined up to see the new location, and the Macs and iPhones may have been overwhelmed by the architecture.

Camera shutters were clicking. Check out some of the many images shared of the gorgeous new store, Apple’s 40th in the United Kingdom.

Why working Apple retail just got better


Apple store
There’s good news for Apple Store employees.
Photo: Apple

Apple retail store employees are getting more time off. Both sick days and vacation days. This is part of improving the benefits for those who works in the Mac-maker’s brick-and-mortar locations.

The changes come as lots of employers find themselves competing for quality applicants in a tight job market.

Apple preps plan to let retail staffers work from home


Apple store
Periodically working from home could become a permanent part of Apple retail employees’ job.
Photo: Apple

Apple is reportedly going to test a program that will have its Apple Store retail employees work from home some of the time. And no, that won‘t involve customers shopping in employees’ living rooms.

Apple asks retail employees to help with online customer support


Like everyone else, Apple retail employees are being asked to work online.
Apple retail employees are being asked to become online employees to make using Apple.com better for customers.
Photo: Apple

Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s retail boss, sent a video to retail employees this weekend asking them to sign up to help customers remotely. She also said they should expect store closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue “for some period of time.”

Separately, Apple told employees that it doesn’t expect to have everyone back in its corporate headquarters before the end of 2020.

Apple stores could open as soon as mid-April


Closed in Tulsa.
Photo: Brad Gibson / Cult of Mac

Apple told its retail employees that it will likely start reopening Apple Stores sometime during the first half of April, according to memo sent to various store employees on Tuesday.

Apple shuttered 467 of its stores outside of China as a precaution as COVID-19 rapidly advanced around the world.

Apple Stores unlikely to reopen March 28; now closed ‘until further notice’


It's not yet clear when they will reopen.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple Stores outside of Greater China now look unlikely to reopen on March 28 after Apple on Tuesday updated its notices to read “closed until further notice.”

A banner displayed at the top of the company’s website makes it clear to visitors that its retail locations are out of action for now. Apple insists, however, that it remains “committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.”

Beijing Apple stores reopen with temperature scans and free masks


Apple stores in China are taking coronavirus concerns very seriously.
Photo: Eunice Yoon/ CNBC

Apple retail stores in Beijing are taking customers’ temperatures and requiring them to wear surgical masks as the area tries to normalize amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Five Apple stores in Beijing reopened their doors with limited hours today after being closed since last month. CNBC senior correspondent Eunice Yoon posted a video from one of the newly reopened stores and the inside is shockingly empty.

Take a look at the entrance process:

Quit or canned? Why is Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple? [Opinion]


Did Angela Ahrendts jump or was she pushed?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

When Apple fires an executive, the company is rarely straightforward about the situation. Apple never puts out a press release stating plainly that the executive was canned. So Tuesday’s unexpected announcement that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, is leaving in April led many to suspect she was fired.

That’s because the announcement came as a surprise and seems rushed. She’s certainly not retiring or quitting to join another company. The press release phrase “new personal and professional pursuits” sounds like code for “canned.”