Apple planning to expand “store within a store” concept to Target

Mon, Jan 9, 2012

News, Rumors

One of the reasons behind Apple’s push into retail was the shoddy manner in which computer shops would routinely display Apple’s products, if at all. Macs were often relegated to the backshelves and were manned by employees not usually able to articulate the benefits of purchasing a Mac.

In creating their own retail environment, Apple was able to display its own products in the best light possible and hire its own staff to tout the benefits of using a Mac over a PC.

But Apple’s penchant for control extends far beyond the confines of its own retail store. To wit, Apple products at Best Buy are often, if not universally, located at “store within a store” kiosks. The store-within-a-store concept not only helps differentiate and isolate Apple’s products from a saturated marketplace, but also helps Apple influence the manner in which they’re displayed – that’s to say, more elegantly than the competition.

Now in an effort to expand the reach of its retail arm, AppleInsider is reporting that Apple may soon be bringing the “store within a store” approach it pioneered at BestBuy to another nationwide retailer – Target.

According to a source familiar with Apple’s plans, the Target stores Apple is, ahem, targeting, are located in metro areas that might not necessarily lend themselves to being standalone Apple retail store locations. All told, Apple is initially seeking to partner up with about 25 Target store locations.

The initial opening would be a small start, given that Target, the second-largest discount retail chain in the US, operates 1752 stores in the US. Apple has opened 359 of its own retail stores globally, 245 of which are in the US.

Apple currently also operates a “store within a store” at over 600 Best Buy locations with “Apple Shops,” some of which feature staffing by Apple Solution Consultants. Best Buy has over 1,000 total stores in the US.

As it stands now, Target does sell iPhones, iPads and iPods, but doesn’t yet sell Macs. That’s likely to change should the reported partnership come to fruition.

It’s also worth noting that Apple has what appears to be a positive working relationship with Target. The nationwide retailer began selling the iPod in late 2002 and was the first retailer, save for Apple and Best Buy, to begin selling the iPad.

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that Ron Johnson, the retail genius that helped spearhead Apple’s retail strategy, had formerly worked for Target where he served as the cmopany’s VP of merchandising.


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