Apple revamping retail stores with bigger focus on workshops and classes

apple store major revamp smartwatch
Trevor Mogg

The first Apple Store opened its doors in 2001, and since then the company hasn’t done too much to tweak the look and feel of its retail presence, even if the products within have changed massively. However, a major overhaul is in the works, with 100 of its biggest locations set to undergo a sizeable update.

Apple wants to transform its stores into tech hubs, rather than just places to get the new iPhone or MacBook. To that end, the company will add a host of new classes and workshops helmed by expert employees, under the moniker Today at Apple.

These sessions will offer attendees tutelage in topics ranging from photographic techniques to music production, according to a report from CBS News. They’ll be conducted by members of a new offshoot of the Genius program, specialized staff who will be known, in Apple’s verbiage, as Creative Pros.

The familiar Genius Bar is also set to undergo some big changes. The tech support destination will be rechristened the Genius Grove, and lined with real trees to contribute to the evolution of the Apple Store aesthetic. Brand new educational spaces will also be introduced for the purposes of classes and meetings.

The revamp of Apple’s retail stores has been led by the company’s senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, who was hired by the company in 2013. The original Apple Store format was hashed out by Steve Jobs and former J. C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson.

Today at Apple sessions will get underway at 500 of Apple’s biggest stores, starting at the end of May, with 100 of those stores being outfitted with new screens and spaces imminently. There’s no word on how the company plans to roll out the changes to the rest of its locations, but it seems likely that these improvements will eventually span its entire retail presence.