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Apple reopens stores in Amsterdam and Maine; Deirdre O’Brien talks about life and career in an interview

Apple reopens stores in Amsterdam and Maine;  Deirdre O'Brien talks about life and career in an interview

THE retail Apple continues its arduous task of updating all of the company’s stores to deliver as many consumers as possible with its new experiences. Recently, there have been two reopening – which we will see now.

Apple Amsterdam

THE flagship da Maçã in the capital of the Netherlands reopened at the end of October after almost six months of construction, and the result was undeniably striking. Located in a historic building in the center of Amsterdam, Apple kept the building’s facade intact, making all the changes only on the inside.

The store has, of course, gained all the elements of the company’s new retail experience: here we have the 8K screen in the center of the space for the Today at Apple, at Avenues embedded in the sides, the internal vegetation and the meeting room Boardroom, used for internal presentations.

Check out some photos, published by Storeteller [clique/toque nas imagens para ampliá-las]:

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Apple Maine Mall

Another store recently reopened was the Apple Maine Mall, in the city of South Portland (Maine, USA). The store reopened in the shopping center in a new space, much larger than the previous one, with the style adopted by Apple in its recent shopping stores.

In other words, here we have a façade entirely composed of huge pivoting glass doors and an open interior, flanked by Avenues and with the indefectible 8K screen on the back. THE 9to5Mac brought some images [clique/toque para ampliá-las]:

The reopening is significant because the store is Apple’s only retail space in the entire state of Maine, so now more consumers will be able to be accommodated and served by Apple’s support service. Always good, isn’t it?

Deirdre O’Brien’s profile

Finally, a note that has nothing to do with the stores themselves, but delves deeply into one of the main minds behind them: InStyle recently published a profile / interview with Deirdre O’Brien, current senior vice president of retail and people at Apple and successor to Angela Ahrendts in managing the company’s infamous stores.

Deirdre O'Brien, vice president of people at Apple

Despite the recently assumed leadership position, O’Brien is a veteran of Apple: she has been in Cupertino since 1988, having gone through the worst and best moments of Apple in the last 3 decades. That means, of course, that she has a lot of story to tell – including several with Steve Jobs. About the giant’s co-founder, O’Brien says he shares his vision of technology as a greater good for humanity:

Something that I think Steve has brought to all of us is the idea that technology is here exclusively to connect people. Steve was talking about Apple being at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and that’s how we feel – which is much bigger than just the technology itself.

It was O’Brien’s human ability that put her in her current position, controlling more than 500 stores around the world and managing more than 70,000 employees in those spaces. And she was always like this: according to the executive, in one of Apple’s most difficult periods (right in the early 2000s, when the internet bubble burst and rocked the company’s finances), it was her and her colleagues’ optimism that put everything ahead:

Honestly, [naquele período] most people had already taken us out of the game; few people believed that we would survive. But there is always hope. So, first of all, I feel that I have incorporated a deep sense of optimism – but realistic optimism, because you need to evaluate things and have a good basis for the reality of the situation you are in. What I can tell you is that, in those difficult times at Apple, we only persevere because we stayed together, and each played their part.

O’Brien also highlighted the most courageous moment of her life, when she came out as a lesbian in her early 20s, just before joining Apple – and precisely because of the prospect of joining Apple.

I was afraid, but I knew I had to take my entire personality to Apple. I never, ever regretted that decision, and today I consider it my responsibility – and a privilege – to place myself every day as a support for the under-represented members of our team. It is very important for me that everyone feels respected for what they are and that they have a deep sense of belonging.

Beautiful, isn’t it? The full interview can be read on the InStyle.

via The Mac Observer