Cupertino, CA — Think of it as “shopping for mere mortals.” After years of defining the über-cool retail experience, the Apple Stores are now being downscaled. Reason: in this bad economy, Apple’s posh clientele just isn’t spending like they used to.
In the latest American Geometrics Foundation (AGF) survey, there is evidence that Rich People — normally second only to Very Rich People in dollars spent at the Apple Store — have slipped to third place, well below Moderately Rich People.
Ron Johnson, Apple’s VP of Retail, is swiftly responding to the crisis. The plan is to cut bait on wealthy buyers and remake the Apple Stores to attract more blue-collar customers. As Johnson puts it, “we’re going coach instead of first class.”
Johnson’s first target is Apple Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Replacing the multimillion-dollar glass cube will be a less ostentatious 30-foot burlap cube.
Inside, customers with lower standards will appreciate the new touches. Partially eaten food and discarded wrappers will be placed on the formerly immaculate tables. Employee training will be cut dramatically to fulfill new shoppers’ expectations for longer lines and lower-quality service.
“We’re speaking our customers’ language now,” Johnson beams.
It’s too early to say if these changes are permanent, or if Apple will revert to its more refined habits when the economy picks up. “Once Rich People come to their senses,” says Johnson, “we may well dial up the pretentiousness to make them feel at home.”