Apple renames stores ‘Town Squares,’ is mercilessly mocked on social media

Apple unveiled a lot of new products and features during Tuesday’s event, much of which will need a lot of unpacking.

But one thing from the two-hour-long event didn’t need a rocket scientist to decode: how plain silly changing the name of Apple Stores to “Town Squares” was.

The nominal change came early in the presentation, when Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts stepped onto the stage. Ahrendts — the only senior female executive at Apple — declared retail stores the company’s biggest product, as 500 million people visit Apple Stores around the world annually.

“We don’t call them stores anymore,” said Ahrendts. “We call them town squares, because they’re gathering places.”

Ahrendts announced plans to transform Apple Stores to make them more like gathering places, like the one at San Francisco’s Union Square. Apple Stores — erm, excuse me, “Town Squares”— will host in-store experiences such as sessions for photography, music gaming and app development to help customers get acquainted with Apple products.

Apple is applying the “Town Square” mentality for its upcoming Apple stores. Its Chicago lakefront store on Michigan Avenue and its Piazza Liberty store in Milan, Italy will have open-air spaces around them. In the Milan store, for example, Apple will host open-air movie screenings.

In addition to Chicago and Milan, Apple announced new stores in Paris and Washington, D.C.

Apple’s landmark Fifth Avenue store in New York City will also be renovated by next year. Its famous glass cube structure will stay intact and will add skylights at the bottom of the plaza to allow sunlight into its subterranean store.

But critics on social media deemed the “Town Square” moniker silly, dystopian and borderline cultish.

Ahrendts clearly did not let any of the social media mockery faze her yesterday.


Photo: Angela Ahrendts announces new Apple in-store experiences and new stores in Chicago, Milan and Paris. (Courtesy Apple)


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  • Makikiguy

    The audience reminded me of the crowds in north korea when they see the little fat one.

  • Cheap & Nothing Wasted

    The new Chicago store won’t be on the lakefront, it will be on Michigan Ave. at the Chicago River.