Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts is only in her second month at work, but she’s already preparing to make some big changes, according to a new report.
According to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, Ahrendts plans to launch a slew of new Apple stores around the world in regions such as China, Italy, and the United States, among others.
Through 2016, Apple will reportedly open 20 new retail locations in China, with four new stores expected to open within the next several months.
A new store is also expected to open in Mestre, Italy later this year or early next year.
Sources reportedly told Gurman that Apple is looking to staff up for new stores in the U.S. in Marlborough, Mass., Virginia Beach, Va., Trumbull, Conn., and Manchester, N.H.
These new stores are expected to open in the second half of 2014 or early 2015, and many of them will be located inside shopping malls rather than standalone retail locations.
Gurman’s report comes after Apple has already announced plans to launch a new store in Puerta del Sol, Spain, on June 21. According to Gurman, rumours about new Apple stores in France, Brazil, and the Netherlands are also underway.
Apple typically opens dozens of retail stores each year, and Gurman’s report aligns with indications that the company plans to boost its presence in China. In April, The Wall Street Journal’s MartketWatch reported that Apple plans to triple the number of retail locations in China within two years. Apple currently has 424 stores around the world, with 255 of those located in the United States.
Ahrendts is also changing the way Apple categorizes its retail locations as part of her new strategy moving forward, according to Gurman. Rather than grouping stores by location, Ahrendts plans to categorize them by sales volume.
Ahrendts officially began her role as senior vice president of Apple’s online and retail stores on May 1. Since then, we’ve already heard reports about her strategy regarding Apple’s retail efforts, which allegedly include focusing more on sales in China, expanding into the mobile payments space, and overhauling the end-to-end sales experience in Apple stores.