Apple’s VP of Retail Talks Corporate and Retail Strategy During the Pandemic

Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and People, was a guest speaker yesterday at Fortune Brainstorm Tech and talked about the company’s adjustments to its corporate and retail strategy during the pandemic.

O’Brien talked about Apple’s adjustment to working from home during the pandemic and that the company plans to find what combination of in-person and remote work works best moving forward.

“We’re taking advantage of the new skills we’ve all learned (during the pandemic),” she said. “We also do feel that collaboration, and many times face-to-face work, does allow us to do our best work and sometimes move a little faster. And so we’ll find that right balance of being in-person and also working remotely.”

O’Brien also spoke on how the Cupertino company has had to take steps to limit the customer experience in its retail stores in order to keep both employees and customers safe.

“We want to make sure, especially as you come into our stores, that you can experience everything that we have to offer,” she explained. “That’s been a bit more challenging in this socially distant environment. I’m really hoping we’ll be able to go back to a full experience situation in our stores for our customers.”

An increasing number of Apple Stores have recently been converted into an “Express” storefront format that greatly limits the services and experience Apple can offer to its customers.