Apple’s first, and at the time, the only head of retail, Ron Johnson, is widely given a big share in Apple’s success in its early years. In an interview at Stanford University Johnson talked about his past, working at Target, Apple, and then J.C. Penny, and how Apple was the ‘best career decision [he] ever made.’
Johnson initially worked at Target in the same position, after which he was whisked away by Apple, which was a great decision as he helped Apple bloom into the multi-billion dollar company it is.
He talked about how Apple Stores needed to be ‘great experience for the customer.’ Which is why they added free Wi-Fi and opened them at locations that would be easily accessible, and even be part of people’s routines. Taking about the customers, he also told Stanford that ‘Sometimes they go just to go. They don’t go to buy. There are so many reasons to go.’
Similarly, earlier on, 97% of Americans had dial up connections, so Apple offered free high speed broadband Internet access to anyone who visited. They did this to “create a place for communities to form.”
In 2011, he left Apple to work for J.C. Penny, and then left J.C. Penny in 2013 after there was a cultural clash that kept him from utilizing a business model similar to the one he used at Apple. However, though it seemed that way at the time, he did not work for Apple again.