Updated from 8:24 A.M. to include more analysis on China in the fifth paragraph.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) has finally found its head of retail stores, and it's a doozy hire: Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. The move continues the tech giant's push to be more of a lifestyle and luxury brand, especially as it focuses on China. Ahrendts' hiring puts Apple further ahead of its competitors, including Google ( GOOG), Samsung, Microsoft ( MSFT) and others. The company is continuing to focus on having all facets of its company be an experience. Much of Burberry's success has come from its resurgence with Asian consumers, particularly in Hong Kong and China. Apple CEO Tim Cook has put an exceptional amount of effort into making China the most important part of Apple's future. Even though Apple's fiscal third-quarter revenue from Greater China was down 14% year over year, Cook believes it's a huge opportunity for Apple going forward, a vision Ahrendts obviously shares. "And so I continue to believe that in the arc of time here, China is a huge opportunity for Apple and I don't get discouraged over a 90-day cycle that can have economic factors and other things in it," Cook said on a recent earnings call. Revenue from Greater China was $4.64 billion in the third quarter, down from $8.21 billion in the fiscal second quarter. Revenue from China will be especially important when Apple reports earnings Oct. 28, as the iPhone 5s and 5c were launched in China at the same time as the United States.
Ahrendts has helped triple Burberry shares since 2006 by upscaling brand & store experience. Apple hoping for similar store magic $AAPL— Rahul Sharma (@Retail_Guru) October 15, 2013The chart below represents Burberry's shares, traded over-the-counter in New York. BURBY data by YCharts
Ahrendts role is a newly created position, and she will start in the spring of 2014. In her new role, Ahrendts will have control over Apple's strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores. Apple previously hired John Browett to run its retail stores, but let him go late in 2012 when it became apparent that Browett was not the right man for the job. After Browett's departure, Cook had been leading the retail team. Shares of Apple were higher in premarket trading, up 0.35% to $497.76, after having closed higher in Monday trading. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia