“We actually don’t call them ‘stores’ anymore—we call them ‘town squares.’” That was an executive at Apple, speaking about the company’s largest stores during the its afternoon-long product-release event on Tuesday. In these “town squares,” aisles will be “avenues” and trees will provide customers shade from overhead fluorescents. The company dreams its flagship stores will become “gathering places,” complete with classes on coding, music, and photography.
Earlier, this week provided another such glimpse of the strange future of retail, in which going to a store is just as much about buying things as it is about being in a nice place—an “experience,” if you will. Nordstrom, a day before Apple’s event, announced that it will be opening a Nordstrom Local concept store next month in West Hollywood, in Los Angeles. . . . more