Blog Post: Is Apple’s Retail VP Hire Best For It’s Brand?

I’m sure the instant analysis will be all over the board, with pundits both praising and bashing the decision of Apple to hire Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as it’s new VP of Retail. It certainly keeps with what many expect of an industry leader like Apple: high end brands take careful shepherding and care to remain at the top of the hill.

The move would have been better 20 years ago, unfortunately. I don’t think that Burberry is near luxury brand it used to be.

Remember when the British brand was at the top of it’s game in the 80’s and 90’s? The plaid pattern was mentioned in virtually every art form as the item anyone with money wanted to have. What better way to capitalize on this success by allowing others access to the copyrighted material for license?

Unfortunately, the brand was more than watered down because everyone was not able to purchase Burberry products.

Is that what Apple is purchasing with it’s hire of Ahrendts? Her moves since 2006 are lauded as re-establishing the dominance of Burberry’s brand, but many are wondering if the trend is for good.

The best move she made at the helm is getting rid of all the outside vendors wanting to put the plaid everywhere. 

Yes, the inclusion of iPads into the sales process (as well as an e-commerce channel) make Ahrendts seem like the perfect combination of retail savvy and technological know-how for the VP of Retail at Apple. 

After speaking with a few trusted co-workers, it would seem like a coup for Cupertino to pull her away from her current position. It’s also an opportunity to pump some life into the brick-and-mortar locations before they have a chance to become stale in design and experience.

She also provides a female on the board for the first time, and someone who could be groomed to replace Tim Cook whenever he decides to retire.

Is all of that going to pan out, or will she last just as long as her predecessor? This position hasn’t really been sought after by many, but then again not many are able to pull it off.

We will soon see. I don’t think it will take long for Ahrendts to make a splash. We will all be watching.


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