Apple retail stores launch one-on-one ‘Shop with a Specialist’ service

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TO deal with COVID-19, Apple Store offer ‘Shop with a Specialist’ service.
“Shop with a Specialist” puts you one-on-one with a salesperson at Apple Stores.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Schedule a visit to an Apple Store and you’ll have an expert standing by just to answer your questions. That’s the promise of the “Shop with a Specialist” program that launched Wednesday.

While this is a touch of luxury, it’s also a necessity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple is trying to keep its retail locations from being overcrowded. That apparently means limiting the number of customers to one per salesperson.

Make an appointment to Shop with a Specialist at an Apple Store

Apple’s promise is that its Shop with a Specialist service lets consumers “experience our products with a specialist, have your questions answered, and choose what’s right for you.”

To set up a session, search for Shop by appointment in the Apple Store application. You’ll be asked which product you’re most interested in (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.).

That brings up a list of stores in your area that offer this new Apple service. Choose the one most convenient for you. (This might prove challenging, as many Apple retail locations remain closed because of the COVID-19 crisis.)

The Apple Store app will display open slots for the next three days. You’ll be asked to sign up, and given a 15-minute window to check in. If there’s a limit on how long you can stay in the store, the app doesn’t mention it.

However, there is a warning that shoppers will have to comply with Apple’s rules designed to slow the spread of the pandemic. “We will check your temperature prior to entry and ask that you please wear a mask,” said the company.