Apple Inc. (AAPL) Store Model Being Copied; A New Wave in Retail?

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is busy fighting for patents and copyrights in courtrooms all over the country – and in some cases, the world – trying to prevent other tech companies from copying its intellectual property, there is one aspect of the company that is trying to be copied and there is no legal action pending.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

It is the retail model of the Apple Store, which started in 2001. The most notable connection to Apple’s successful retail model comes from beleaguered retail chain J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP), which hired former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive Ron Johnson to be its CEO. Johnson, who is credited with creating the Apple Store concept, has been spending the last several months installing a makeover in J.C. Penney stores, looking to mimic the Apple Store model – down to the details of friendly staff, mobile check-out, relaxation zones and simple pricing.

In retail, companies are becoming bullish on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). However, recently a company insider sold most of his holdings, which may be a bearish signal.

The initial results? After J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) lost 19 percent in sales two quarters ago, the company lost another 22 percent this most recent quarter. “I am completely convinced that our transformation is on track,” Johnson said. “We’re not going to short-circuit a really strong business strategy for the sake of five months. Because we are five months from the finish line … We fully expect to resume growth, and profitable growth, in fiscal year 2013 and we’re excited about it.”

Richard Schulze, founder and former CEO of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) who is looking to buy the company and take it private, has indicated a desire to change the stores into an Apple-style model, according to sources.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a highly regarded name in technology, but it is also being regarded as a model in the retail world. Whether the model works for other retailers, or whether it’s just because it’s Apple and its gadgets that sell will be something to watch. Can Apple branch out and redefine retail, too?