Target and Apple are partnering up to bring mini-Apple stores into Target stores. These Apple stores would be dedicated departments to shop for all Apple products without having to navigate around the store. The Apple departments would initially be in 25 Target locations, but if proven a success, it’s very likely we’ll see a nationwide rollout.
Best Buy has had a similar concept in place for some time. Most locations have a dedicated area for the full range of Apple products. A glowing Apple logo seemingly floats above all the products as a center focal point. If you’re ever lost in a Best Buy store, head toward the big shiny fruit and use it as a reference. I’d imagine this type of “mini-Apple store” will be the format we see in Target stores soon.
Target already sells select Apple products — I’ve seen iPads and iPods at my local stores — but they don’t really stand out from the crowd. Apple, as always, wants its products front and center at authorized retailers. AT&T stores are a prime example. If you walk into an AT&T store looking to buy a smartphone and you are severely lacking knowledge of the market, the chances are pretty good that you’ll walk out with an iPhone.
Target didn’t give a date for when the Apple rollout would begin at its retail stores, but I think it’s safe to say they will start to pop up in scattered locations at some point in 2012.