Do you live in an area too small to support an Apple Store but has a Target retail location? Apple reportedly will launch later this year “store-within-a-store” sites at 25 of the chain’s larger U.S. locations. The plan would expand the Cupertino, Calif. company’s retail reach already available at more than 600 Best Buy stores.
The Friday report by AppleInsider cites “a source familiar with Apple’s plans” that the move increases the tech giant’s relationship with the second-largest U.S. retailer. Target began selling iPods in 2002 and the iPhone and iPad in 2010. The mini stores may also allow Target stores to go beyond the two devices, offering consumers all major Apple products, including the Mac.
Target operates 1,752 U.S. stores.
Apple already operates similar mini stores known as “Apple Shops” at more than 600 of 1,000 U.S.-based Best Buy retail locations. Those Apple Stores let smaller communities see and purchase iPhones, iPads, Macs and other Apple gear that otherwise might be available only in larger cities able to support stand-alone Apple retail spots.
The iPad maker is taking a second look at its retail outreach after the company folded relationships with Sears, Circuit City, Office Max and Computer City in the mid-1990s. Apple concentrated its efforts with CompUSA — which later bit the dust — as well as strengthening its own walk-in retail locations.
Apple’s newfound interest in retail only makes sense. Before being named CEO, Tim Cook was Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations. The company has 245 of its 359 worldwide walk-in locations in the United States.