The flagship store in San Francisco has been known for a while not as ‘The Apple Store’ but as ‘Apple Union Square.’ Soon all the stores will be known by the company name and location, like Apple Fifth Avenue or Apple Anytown. They will no longer be known as ‘The Apple Store’ and the word ‘Store’ will no longer be part of their retail locations’ names.
Apple’s name change means they know their stores can’t be just stores, they have to be places you go to for more than buying stuff. The Apple Store is already a place you go to for expertise or just to see what’s new and on view from Apple. But eventually, they’d love you to go there for classes on a range of topics beyond just how to use their products — and they want you to go there for other events. Apple wants you to think of it as a place to meet friends, a gathering place, an event space, a place you go to for lots of reasons only one of which is to buy Apple products.
Good retailers will transform their stores from retail to entertainment. Retailers who can make that transition will cause consumers to have a deeper relationship with their brands. That will make it more likely that they’ll sell those consumers more products, whether the place those products are sold is real or virtual.
More details on Forbes.