Apple touts new 'Town Square' retail store concept

Apple's new stores will be a cross between a retail store and an education center, wrapped up in a plaza-like package.

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(Image via CNET)

Apple's new retail stores are now called Town Squares, according to Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores.

Ahrendts took the stage on Tuesday at the Steve Jobs Theater to explain Apple's latest approach to physical retail. In a way, Apple's new stores will be a cross between a retail store and an education center, wrapped up in a plaza-like package that resembles Apple Park. The goal is to make Apple stores forums for collaboration, Ahrendts said.

"We think of Apple Retail as Apple's largest product," Ahrendts said.

The new, reimagined Apple stores will show up in the largest cities. They will include the new Genius Grove, which is essentially a redesigned Genius Bar, as well as a new in-store experience called "Today at Apple." Meanwhile, new Creative Pro employees will be on hand to help bring "Today at Apple" to life, Ahrendts said.

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Apple will also begin offering coding lessons to kids at its stores and host additional hands-on educational workshops and events, including sessions for photography, music, gaming, and app development.

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Ahrednts said Apple will continue to open new "Town Squares" around the world, but will also reinvest in current locations and flagships. The traditional glass cube design will return, but expect them to be outfitted with more plaza-like green space.

The newest flagship store will open in Chicago on Oct. 20.

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