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Are Apple’s retail employees being trained to give fashion advice?

Apple retail store employees have begun revealing details of their latest training programme.

With just two weeks to go until the Apple Watch can be pre-ordered, staff are beginning to be briefed on new plans, says a report on 9to5mac.

The idea behind these programmes are for retail employees to start conversations with the goal of building up trust with a customer. They’ll then be able to serve as a valued fashion advisor.

The aim is to rejuvenate Apple’s sales pitches when it comes to this new line, aligning staff with more traditional boutique fashion houses.

Staff will be able to advise on the best choice between the Watch Sport, Watch, and dare we say it, the super-expensive Watch Edition.

The approach is very much experimental, so it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out – particularly as potential users will be largely dictated by budgetary restraints rather than fashion concerns.

According to the report above, employees are being told to make comments like “you seem to have a fun style. I think the Pink Sport band would match your style perfectly,” or “the white strap looks great on you.”

Apple’s guidelines to employees also says that they should make comments about why an option is a good choice, rather than why it may not be a good choice, explaining how previous customers made decisions, use existing fashion accessories to advise a customer, getting the opinion of the other person if the customer isn’t alone, and not focusing on price. The idea here is that Apple believes customers may be willing to spend more for a model that makes them feel good.

But is that wishful thinking? It may be more strategic than you’d think. Previous wearables, particularly smartwatches are by no means the norm, and one thing they all have in common, is that they put functionality first, over design.

While Apple’s Watch is absolutely packed with features and technology, the majority of potential users will know this, and the fashion angle could be just the ticket to pushing through a sale.

The Apple Watch is available for pre-order on the 10 April and will be available in select countries to buy from 24 April.

Read more about the Apple Watch