Apple’s retail stores are coming upon their 10 year anniversary. The first Apple retail stores were opened on May 19th, 2001 in Glendale, California and Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. Now Apple has 324 retail stores, and they play a pivotal role in Apple’s supply chain. According to BGR, Apple is definitely up to something with the following events:
- There’s an overnight shift planned for around 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store to work from late Saturday all the way through mid-Sunday.
- During the overnight shift, it’s going to be required that employees lock cell phones in the main office. They will also have to sign an NDA with Apple.
- There are a wide variety of roles, we’re told, for the overnight shift. This includes all visuals staff, a manager, a business team member, a few Genius team members, one back-of-house employee, and a few generic Apple specialists.
- Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install, and are expecting more hardware to come on Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night.
- Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that people walking outside cannot see inside.
- Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled, “training” in a password-protected zipped folder that won’t accessible to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.
- Lastly, all Apple retail stores have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22nd. Most meeting are scheduled for the morning, but there are evening meetings as well.
Apple is definitely getting all of its ducks in a row, but for what? The 10 year milestone is definitely something Apple is going to make note of. A product launch seems unlikely with WWDC so close. BGR has some new information that Apple could be readying an NFC payment system in all its retail outlets. A report by AppleInsider states that the meetings could be set up to organize Apple’s Back to School Promotion, which could start as early as next week.
New rumors say that rather than new products or hardware in store, the 10th anniversary will be marked by a sale. Apple could host a 10% off everything sale this Thursday May 19th that would only be available in store, and not online.
It’s not clear what exactly Apple is going to do, but they definitely have something planned for Thursday.