Apple is the absolute dominant player in retail right now. The presence of an Apple Store can make or break a shopping mall, so when Apple’s VP of Retail talks about retail, gun store owners better listen.
You have your instincts and you use a lot of smart outside guys, and the smart outside guys they don’t say retail is dying. They say digital is gonna grow at three times the rate of physical, but in the next five years… 75 percent of people will shop online, shop to learn [about what they want to buy], but 75 percent of business will still be done in physical stores.
Because of this, (Apple VP) Ahrendts explained that “retail isn’t going away” or “dying,” but it will have to “evolve” as time passes. Apple has already made moves to change up Apple retail locations with next-generation layouts that emphasize communal gathering and encourage interactivity during Today at Apple sessions. This plays into another of Ahrendts’ talking points in the interview, when she said, “I think [retail] has to serve a bigger purpose than just selling.”
Building a community around your store should be easy for any store that includes a gun range, because those stores have a place to buy guns and use the guns they just bought. Think bowling alleys circa 1967: You bought your shoes and balls in the pro shop, and used them right there on a weekend evening, along with all your friends.