(San Francisco, CA) In the midst of a global pandemic, every business has to adapt in order to survive. For many small businesses, this often involves cutting costs, pursuing new revenue streams, and making difficult decisions to survive. For larger businesses like Amazon and Apple, adapting looks different, often taking the form of union suppression and massive corporate stockpiling. However, Apple is trying something new this summer that is sure to keep our attention long enough to forget that the company is sitting on close to $200 billion dollars in off-shore banks. According to a recent press release, Apple will be opening their first ‘customerless’ store later this Summer.
“This is a risk, yes, but that’s what this company was born on,” explained Tim Cook from behind a bulletproof glass window as we waited outside of Apple’s corporate offices. “Without customers in the way, we are letting our products speak for themselves. The time has come to finally bring shopping into the 21st century. Plus, it’s only one location, so if it flops, I can just fire whoever had the idea and move on. Easy peasy.”
With that vote of confidence, Cook left and a shaky looking intern was sent up to the window in order to answer questions. First one seemed obvious, given the nature of the announcement. “So, if no customers are allowed in, how will you make sales?”
“Great question,” the intern answer excitedly, referring to a sheet set before him no doubt filled with pre-planned answers. “Customers will visit the store in order to see new products from a distance. Once they see the products, they will then need to go online to make orders. We believe that this separation of viewing the product and purchasing the product will lead to better purchase decisions and more invested customers.”
“Sure, I guess that makes sense,” the reported replied, before thinking of something else to ask. “But no customers at all? What about employees, will they still be allowed inside?”
“Another wonderful question,” the intern said again, sweat beginning to collect on his forehead. “Employees will still be there to make sure the products are presented in an aesthetically pleasing fashion and to update the displays as needed. This is part of the reason why we are now referring to store employees as ‘curators’ rather than ‘team members.’ It’s just a better title, for this store at least.”
“And you can pay them less, right?”
“Sure. OK, final question. You have essentially re-invented a museum, but specifically for new versions of your products rather than ancient historical artifacts or art. Is that correct?”
“Well, when you put it like that… Yes, I guess we did. But that is the Apple motto.”
“And what is that again?”
“Ahem, in the words of Steve Jobs, ‘Keep remaking the same technologies until we swallow our own tail whole.'”
With that, the intern was escorted from the premises and placed into an unmarked black van. May God rest his soul.