Apple Hires Retail Chief, Ramps Up Store Expansion

Apple Hires Retail Chief, Ramps Up Store Expansion

Apple has hired a new senior vice president of retail, as the company looks to build upon the success of its stores with new leadership.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company hired John Browett, former CEO of European technology retailer Dixons, as its new retail chief. Browett will oversee Apple’s retail stores, national and international expansions, and their overall business strategy.

Browett is replacing Ron Johnson, who announced last year he’d be leaving Apple to become the CEO of J.C. Penney.

Johnson helped the company open more than 300 stores after he joined the company in 2000, and led its retail division to more than $10 billion in sales in 2011. The former retail chief left behind big shoes to fill, but Apple CEO Tim Cook believes Browett is the right man for the job.

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” Cook said. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”

China will likely be one of the major fronts of retail expansion in Apple’s strategy. There is a strong demand for Apple’s products in China, and the company is struggling to meet the overwhelming demand. The iPhone 4S sold out in less than three hours at the company’s Hong Kong store and the company had to cancel the launch of the device at its Beijing store because crowds grew so large that police feared for the employee’s safety.

Apple’s retail stores have reached an unprecedented level of success in recent years, which the company attributes to its unique sales philosophy. The company operates all its stores with the goal of employees helping customers in whatever way possible, rather than focusing on up-selling and getting consumers to spend more money at every turn of the sale.

Along with helping Apple expand into new markets, Browett will be tasked with sustaining the company’s momentum in markets it’s already in. The iPhone maker is continuing to expand its presence in the U.S. The company recently opened up another one of its signature retail locations in Grand Central Station, and is also planning to launch mini-stores inside several Target locations to reach a wider variety of customers.

Browett may be well-qualified, but he will have a tough job ahead of him as he continues to expand Apple’s retail arm into new territories while attempting to keep the formula that has made the company’s stores a success.

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