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Over at Burberry, a five-minute walk from the Stockton Street Apple Store, there's no chaos or crowds. There's also no wait. An attentive sales associate appears at my side when I need her. Music plays lightly in the background, and everything about the store screams luxury. I can try on any watch I want (who knew Burberry sold watches?), and I don't even have to wait for the timepieces, many of which cost about the same as the stainless steel Apple Watch, to be delivered by a security guard. At high-end jeweler Tiffany, located just up the street, I'm invited to try on a $190,000 diamond-encrusted Patek Philippe watch, no wait, no hassle. I opt instead to put on one that costs closer to $50,000.

At Apple, I waited, At Burberry and Tiffany, I was waited on hand and foot, Ahrendts was tapped to lead the stores after Apple struggled with its retail operations, In addition to his day job as CEO, Cook led the retail business for more than a year after he fired retail chief John Browett in October 2012 after just six months on the job, Browett, former chief of British electronics retailer Dixons, admitted he didn't fit in with Apple's culture, Browett replaced Ron Johnson, the executive credited with much of Apple's retail success, after Johnson left in 2011 to become r just case iphone x J.C, Penney's CEO, (Johnson was ousted as Penney's chief in April 2013 for what some deemed a misguided makeover of the budget-minded retailer.)..

Apple makes more money per square foot in its stores than any other US retailer -- including Tiffany & Co. -- but its retail sales haven't grown as fast as they used to. In Apple's fiscal 2014, which ended September 27, retail sales rose only 6 percent to $21.46 billion, on par with the 7 percent rise in 2013. It's a much lower growth rate than the 33 percent increase seen in 2012, 44 percent in 2011 and 47 percent in 2010 -- despite Apple opening more stores. It now has more than 400 retail outlets worldwide.

Some say the novelty has worn off, with Samsung and Microsoft successfully mimicking the Apple retail feel, Apple knew it needed someone focused on retail, and that's where Ahrendts came in, She's the first Apple executive to oversee both Apple's physical stores and its online store, The hope is that she can pull off the same trick she achieved at Burberry, r just case iphone x After Ahrendts took over at the London-based clothing and accessories retailer in 2006, Burberry's sales nearly tripled to about $3.9 billion in the year ended March 31, Today it's widely regarded as one of the most technologically savvy fashion brands in the world..

Ahrendts hasn't made any changes noticeable to consumers in her first year on the job at Apple, besides the obvious tweaks for Apple Watch -- adding new displays in stores, installing safes to store the pricey gold watches and forming partnerships with department stores such as Paris' Galeries Lafayette to show off the device. The real shift will come later this year and in 2016, analysts say, when Ahrendts could dive into redesigning Apple's stores and figuring out how to get retail sales soaring again.

"The first year was about understanding Apple's culture as well as understanding how Apple works," said Tim Bajarin, president of tech research firm Creative Strategies, "I don't think we're going to see any real significant outcome from her work at Apple for probably at least another 12 months."Even then, it could be tough to gauge Ahrendts' success in turning Apple Stores around, Apple in r just case iphone x October said starting this year, it won't break out retail sales, Instead, store results will be distributed among the various regions (such as Americas and Greater China)..

It's also not going to say how many watches it's sold, lumping sales of the device into the "other products" category on its earnings statement along with iPod music players, Apple TV and accessories including Beats' headphones. Cook needs the Apple Watch to be a winner not because Apple needs the money -- sales of the iPhone and iPad accounted for 81 percent of sales in the December quarter. Instead, company fans -- and critics -- are looking to how well the Apple Watch does as a sign of whether Cook and his team are still innovative without Jobs' influence over product design.

Last year, smartwatch vendors shipped just 4.6 million units, compared with 242 million tablets and 1.3 billion smartphones, Strategy Analytics believes Apple will ship 15.4 million Apple Watch units in 2015, giving the company 54.8 percent of the global smartwatch market and bumping Samsung to No, 2, The Apple Watch could help raise awareness for other watches, bringing total smartwatch shipments this year to 28.1 million, But heady sales for the Apple Watch, which works only with the Phone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6 Plus, aren't a foregone conclusion, Apple, r just case iphone x which kept its product lines streamlined in the past, offers 38 possible combinations of watch bands, models and metal finishes, giving consumers plenty of options to find the devices that best match their styles..