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Apple stores may be headed for major overhaul

Sporting flashier product displays, TVs with video content and more, the next-generation Apple stores will reportedly roll out this fall.

Your friendly, neighborhood Apple store could look a lot different come this fall.

James Martin/CNET

Visit an Apple store sometime this fall, and you may be treated to a whole new experience.

Apple retail stores could be undergoing several changes in what sounds like an attempt to liven them up, 9to5Mac reported Tuesday. The overhaul will start with the Apple store in Germantown, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis. The store will move to a new location in the city with a "next generation" design in tow, according to The Memphis Daily News, which first reported the news.

Apple senior director of retail development Rick Millitello presented the plan to the Germantown Design Review Commission, which approved it on August 25, according to the Daily News. Millitello told the commission the new Memphis store would be one of the first built with Apple's new store design.

Apple stores have received kudos for their user-friendly layout where customers can easily try out products and get help from sales and support reps. But the look and feel of the Apple store is getting long in the tooth. A shakeup to revamp the overall layout and place a greater focus on specific products could certainly help lure more customers and drive more sales. Apple has already started tweaking the layout of its stores by moving the iPod to the accessories section and replacing its iPad 2 Smart Signs with product information directly displayed on its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

Millitello revealed certain details of the new design, according to the Daily News. The stores would feature a matte granite reinforced panel on the outside along with natural oak tables inside. A changeable display would occasionally feature living plants but swap them out with other items, while TVs would show off videos and other content. There may also be changes over how and where products are displayed in the store, according to 9to5Mac, though no specifics were revealed.

Millitello also told the commission the new design will expand to some Apple stores overseas.

A redesign for Apple retail locations was mentioned in a New Yorker story on Apple design guru Jony Ive in February. The story said that "Ive has begun to work with [Angela] Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice-president of retail, on a redesign -- as yet unannounced -- of the Apple Stores."