Report: Apple plans store changes for holidays

Not to be outdone by Microsoft’s recent invasion into the retail space with Apple Store replicas its own stores, Apple is reputedly getting ready to bring some changes to its own fleet of brick-and-mortar outlets. To better equip the stores for the upcoming sales juggernaut that is the holiday season, Apple is looking to make the checkout process more efficient and eliminate confusion about which employees do what.

According to ifoAppleStore, the first change will be a rollback of the color-coded t-shirts that Apple introduced a while ago. Apparently, the variety of differently dressed employees at the stores has created confusion among the customers about which of them handle what tasks. Apple will now go back to uniformly colored t-shirts for all employees, although that color will be changed once every few months (you know, just to keep things interesting).

The other, more significant, change is that they’ll now be switching from the current EasyPay handheld devices to iPod touch units equipped with a barcode reading accessory for the checkout procedure. The current Windows CE-based devices have been reported as being prone to crashes and non-responsiveness by employees. (And they didn’t see that coming? Really?) This switch will also enable employees to accept cash payments on the spot, without having to go up to the cash register.

All of which is to say that when you walk into an Apple Store this December, you will be able to walk out of there with your shiny new Apple products in a shorter amount of time than you’ve ever been able to before. I can already see Apple’s upcoming video, with Jonathan Ive saying, “We really think we couldn’t have done a better job with it than we have. And when you next walk into one of these upgraded stores, I think you’ll agree that it's the fastest Apple Store ever.”

[via TUAW]

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