A picture has surfaced on the Web that seems to indicate Apple may be trying a new layout of its Apple Store Genius Bars, which are its centers for technical support.
The redesigned Genius Bar is turned 90 degrees and runs perpendicular to the back of the particular Apple Store rather than parallel as Genius Bars currently do. This layout lets Apple’s so-called Geniuses use both sides of their tables to assist customers.
When using both sides, the number of stools at the bar, which is set just 15 inches off the store’s back wall, went up from seven to 12 at the Apple Store where the change is being tested, according to ifoAppleStore.
Seating the 10-foot-long table sideways also breaks down the barrier between Apple’s retail employees and their customers, likely giving off a higher sense of access.
However, the change seems to come at the expense of Apple Stores’ kids areas, where the Cupertino, Calif., company sets up low tables and chairs with devices loaded up on kids software. This area recently went through a change too, switching from iMacs to iPads, and that also happened for the sake of increasing capacity, according to MacRumors.
It remains to be seen if Apple will adopt the new Genius Bar throughout all its stores, expand its test, or keep it focused on this particular location, but I’ve contacted the company to see if it would like to weigh in.
Recently, Apple Store employees were the focus of a major New York Times report, which highlighted that Apple retail employees work without commission, usually have jobs without a path to move up and work under heavy levels of stress.
The report notes Geniuses at times have to deal with three customers at once, so while the new Genius Bar layout may be good news for customers, Geniuses could be readying for even higher levels of stress.