It’s time for Apple Watch mini-stores

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Mr. Selfridge will be selling Apple Watches. Photo: Cult of Mac/ITV
Mr. Selfridge will be selling Apple Watches. Sort of. Photo: Cult of Mac/ITV

If you’re in the market for an Apple Watch, and you live in London, Paris or Tokyo, consider yourself in luck: Apple will be opening mini store-within-store kiosks in luxury local department stores, dedicated to selling its eagerly-anticipated smartwatch.

The pop-up stores are planned to open Friday, April 10, when the Apple Watch first goes on preorder, which means you can be among the first to see the Apple Watch in person.

Apple Watch Selfridges

As with the stores-within-stores that Apple had in the 1990s, prior to opening the Apple Stores proper, these kiosks will be staffed by Apple-employed retail staff. Visitors can make appointments of between 15 minutes and half an hour depending on what model of Apple Watch they are interested in, with the expensive $10,000+ Apple Watch Edition units commanding longer demos.

Photo:
One of the pop-up stores in Japan. Photo: Macotakara

Locations will include Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and the Isetan department store in Toyko: all upmarket retailers where the Apple Watch will be sold in close proximity to other luxury brands such as Cartier and Tiffany’s. It was previously suggested that additional mini-stores will be located in Los Angeles’ Maxfield, Berlin’s The Corner, and Dover Street Market in London.

The kiosks are already being constructed, with signs advertising “WATCH: Coming Soon.”

The move to associate Apple Watches with high-end consumer products follows a precise print strategy that has seen Apple focus on profiling the smartwatches in fashion magazines like Vogue.

Don’t worry if you don’t happen to live near one of the aforementioned locations, however. Apple is also in the process of revamping its regular retail stores, with new glass cases designed to show off the Apple Watch.

Walk-ins may be accommodated depending on how busy the Apple Store is at the time, but particularly early on would-be customers are advised to book an appointment ahead of time to ensure that they are seen.