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Why your Apple store is no longer a 'store'

Technically Incorrect: The company's brick-and-mortar locations are losing the "store" part of their name. Is this a conscious attempt to tweak the way you think about Apple?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Notice the new name?

Apple screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Do you buy your overpriced scarves at Burberry? Or do you buy them at the Burberry store?

Do you insist the best and most tasteless tight pants are at Gucci? Or are they at the Gucci store?

This splitting of brand hairs weighs upon me as I confront a new phenomenon: Apple stores are no longer Apple stores.

If you go to Apple's retail website, you'll see that you can still "find a store." It's just that they seem no longer to be called "stores."

For example, the new store in Union Square, San Francisco is simply Apple Union Square. The Brussels, Belgium branch is now simply Apple Brussels. Indeed, Apple now calls my local store Apple, Corte Madera.

Is this a typically brand-conscious Apple tweak? Would you bet against it?

MacRumors says it has set eyes on an email sent by Apple to its retail staff declaring that "store" is no more.

What might be behind this apparently picky pedantry? I fancy it's simply that the word "store" is a touch déclassé.

Imagine what would have become of Saks Fifth Avenue if it had been called Saks Store Fifth Avenue.

Apple's head of retail, Angela Ahrendts, came from Burberry. When one looks at the store (can I still use the word, Apple?) redesign for which she's been responsible, it features an attempt to minimize clutter, maximize ability to breathe and emphasize luxury. The tacky old Genius Bar, for example, is gone.

Moreover, in launching the Union Square store, Ahrendts suggested it should be not just a retail outlet, but a place where people gather to talk.

The change won't stop people from still referring to the place where heat still hovers and geniuses still reside as "the Apple store."

In time, though, perhaps some will at least tell people they got their new Apple Watch at "Apple."

Then they'll stand back to take in the exalted admiration.

So much more through so much less.

Apple screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET