We’ve got a great Visitor Center which will be opened later this year where we will welcome everyone. And inside the Visitor Center, you’ll find an incredible augmented reality experience where you can learn more about Apple Park, its design and its innovations.
You’ll also find a fantastic new Apple retail store. As you know, Apple Retail has always been about more than selling. It’s about learning, inspiring and connecting with people.
Now our stores are also the best place to go discover, explore and experience our new products. So before we get to some incredible products, we’d like to give you an update on retail. And to do that, I’d like to invite Angela up. Angela?
Angela Ahrendts – SVP of Retail, Apple
Good morning. Thank you. It’s great to be here. And I love the fact that the same team that designs Apple Park also designs our largest retail stores around the world. But it’s funny, because we actually don’t call them stores anymore; we call them Town Squares, because they’re gathering places for 500 million people who visit us every year, places where everyone is welcomed and we’re all of Apple comes together.
But what really brings it all to life, as Tim said, are our incredible teams. We’ve always said that our people are our soul and they’re Apple’s greatest differentiator because they bring personal connection to communities all over the world. They humanize technology.
But along with our amazing teams, our commitment to design also sets us apart, to make things simple, beautiful. And that’s why we think of Apple Retail as Apple’s largest products and like all of our products we’ve designed new features to take the customer experience even further.
In our largest cities where we can, we create a plaza, a space open to everyone, come in and relax, meet up with friends or just listen to a local artist on the weekends. Inside we’ve designed a forum, a place for customers to come and create, collaborate or just connect again with one another.
For local entrepreneurs and app developers, we have a quieter space in the larger stores called a boardroom where they can learn more from our teams or again share with each other.
And the Genius Grove, a redesigned, more relaxed cervix experience now in the heart of our larger stores.
And lastly the Avenues – kind of like shop windows around the Town Square. They’re carefully curated and they change seasonally to always feature our newest products and services. And this summer, to turn on these new features, we’ve launched Today at Apple, our in-store experience designed to inspire customers to go even further with their passions.
We started with things that are core to Apple’s DNA — things people most use their devices for and they trust us to teach them, like photography, music, gaming and app development. We’ve created new programs like Photo Walks where customers can perfect their photography skills with features like portrait mode and memories and we do all of this in a really fun social way by taking them out to the neighborhood to explore with each other.
Or Swift Playgrounds where the next generation app developers can begin to learn the basics of coding. And one of my personal favorites: Teachers Tuesdays where our teams help local educators stay updated on the newest technologies and apps.
In some of our larger stores, sessions are led by local artists like this Music Lab called The Art of Beat Making with the RZA and the ROLI team in Brooklyn. These sessions in all stores are led by our creative team and a new position we call a Creative Pro. So the Creative Pro is now the liberal arts as the genius has always been to technology and I would love to show a quick video to show you how Today at Apple is coming to life.
We’ve just started. We’ve just started but the feedback has been fantastic. Customers are telling us they love the role that Apple Retail is playing in their community.
So what’s next?
Well, we’re going to continue to open Apple Town Squares in the top cities around the world. We’re going to invest in online and we’re also going to continue to reinvest in our 400 classic locations, including Apple Fifth Avenue in New York City where we’re opening up the Plaza to allow natural sunlight to come in, into a greatly expanded space below. And you can see the glass cube will return when reopened late next year.
And in Paris, we’re restoring an entire historic building on the iconic Champs Elysées. We’re turning a five-story atrium into our largest forum. Early next year we’re transforming a theater beneath Piazza Liberty into a modern-day Town Square for Milan. Just imagine movie night there next summer.
And we’ve recently announced an ambitious project to restore Carnegie Library in the heart of our nation’s capital. We can’t think of a better place for Today at Apple programs than a building originally created for the city to access knowledge and unlock their potential.
And I’m thrilled to personally announce the opening of our newest flagship store in the heart of the Midwest, Apple Michigan Avenue in Chicago on October 20. Our team has designed a spectacular pavilion that seamlessly connects the Plaza to the Promenade as a part of the city’s plan to transform the Chicago river front.
So that’s a brief highlight, just a couple of things we’ve been working on, and as Tim said, Apple’s Retail purpose has always been to enrich lives. So a huge thank you to the 65,000 Apple Retail employees around the world whose passion, energy and commitment in serving all of us every day and ensuring all of Apple comes together, it’s brilliant. Thank you.