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Apple retail stores stink… literally

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:45PM EST
Apple retail stores smell
Image: Apple

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Apple is known for sweating the smallest details in its retail stores: the floors come from a family-owned quarry outside of Florence, Italy; the glass staircases are made with the help of companies from Massachusetts, New York and Germany; and the glass cube that makes up the entrance of the Fifth Avenue store cost Apple $6.7 million. However, it appears new Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has one more thing to worry about: body odor.

According to a hard-hitting report from The Street, the Santa Monica Apple store has been particularly stinky lately. Reporter Rocco Pendola was able to confirm with two of the store’s employees that the stink is in fact a problem and has been relayed to management. To deal with the body odor, Apple stores have high-tech “sniffers” that detect odorous chemicals and carbon monoxide, and if certain levels are reached, they trigger the activation of a ventilation system.

Santa Monica’s store also has these “sniffers,” but according to one employee, they are poorly situated. As seen in the picture below, they are placed too high on the wall. It takes too long for odors to waft their way up to the “sniffers,” and as a result, the store tends to stink in the morning.

Given Apple’s attention to detail, and given that this is one of Apple’s flagship retail locations, one has to wonder what went wrong here—and why it hasn’t been fixed.

The store opened in December 2012, so former retail chief Ron Johnson likely helped plan the store. But he left in November 2011 for JCPenney, so perhaps the blame should fall on his successor, John Browett. Browett was around from April to October 2012, when he was fired. Perhaps body odor was the real reason he was fired.

Apple was then left without a retail chief for over a year, before the company announced that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts would take over in mid-2014.

Now we know what her first order of business will be.