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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Is it cache, caché or cachet?
That's the debate we were having at
TheStreet this morning. And that's more like it.
Burberry Hire Will Further Fuel Apple's Luxury Caché.
TheStreet's top tech dog Chris Ciaccia has details and makes some sense of Tim Cook tapping Angela Ahrendts as Apple's new SVP of online and offline retail.
I don't know Angela Ahrendts from the next CEO who accepts a demotion in rank to join the greatest company in the world, but, sort of like
accept all Reed Hastings' claims on faith, I trust that Cook not only made the right choice, but is, to a certain extent, thinking along the same lines as me.
I mean why hire the woman the great Patricia Sellers at
Fortune describes as "a design fanatic, a digital evangelist, and a master of millennial marketing" if you're not going to let her do what's right (not what Steve would do) ... Question mark. Period.
If move No. 1 isn't to
terminate those brand-crushing, image-trashing, slum-dwelling third-party channel "relationships" Apple has with names such as
Best Buy(BBY - Get Report) and
Walmart(WMT - Get Report), again, why bother making such a seemingly splendid hire ... period before question mark because, really, there's no need for a question mark at the end of such an obvious sentence.
Ahrendts appears savvy enough to extricate Apple from these arrangements at the same time as strategizing to ensure the business doesn't take a meaningful hit. That's assuming, of course, that what Apple would lose by ditching third-world retailers would amount to more than a rounding error.
The strategy ain't rocket science. Ahrendts has the relationships at Burberry and other high-end names. Everybody in the luxury sector knows her. Replace the dime-a-dozen Best Buys and Walmarts with stores the Apple brand can not only be proud of, but thrive off of. Names such as
Restoration Hardware(RH) and that fancy
Art of Shaving place.
The products these places carry -- and the price tags they put on their items -- align practically and psychologically with Apple devices and accessories, particularly the more expensive and aspirational ones.
I identify my Apple devices, particularly my loaded Macbook Pro with Retina Display, more with the
Cole Haan bag that carries them (one that I bought online from the Apple Store) than the cheap, but still serviceable
Samsung television set I purchased at Best Buy. Part of Ahrendts' gig should be to up the ante in high-end accessories while she reorganizes Apple's mucked-up third party partnerships.
But, even more importantly ... take a close look at the face on the next page because ...