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Target confirms it will open 25 Apple store-within-a-store outlets this year

post #1 of 36
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Target on Thursday confirmed that it plans to open 25 specialty stores dedicated to Apple products inside 25 of its existing retail locations.

AppleInsider exclusively reported last week that Target would open the new store-within-a-store locations at 25 larger Target stores this year. The retailer confirmed those exact details in a presentation in New York on Thursday, according to The New York Times.

The concept is called "The Shops at Target," and the dedicated Apple ministores coming to 25 Target locations will not be alone. The Minneapolis-based retailer has also partnered with Boston's Polka Dog Bakery and Miami's The Webster, among others, for its specialty shops.

Target has been selling Apple products for years, including the iPad, iPhone, and Apple's iPod lineup. Target does not currently offer any of Apple's Mac lineup, however, while Best Buy's Apple stores do sell Mac products.

The new Target mini-stores could pave the way for more products, like Macs or AirPort wireless routers, to become available. However, there has been no indication that the Apple stores at Target will offer a product selection as wide as Best Buy currently does.


Target has adorned its electronics sections with official Apple signage | Source: ifoAppleStore


"Stores-within-a-store, with dedicated floor space and signs and shelves designed by a brand, have been a popular strategy for a while," author Stephanie Clifford wrote for the Times. "Department stores have long had small boutiques for designers like Ralph Lauren or Chanel. J.C. Penney, a Target competitor, has made its stores-within-a-store — for Sephora, Call It Spring, MNG by Mango and other brands — a centerpiece of its strategy."
post #2 of 36
That'd be awesome if the Apple Store within Target was treated like an entirely different country, like an embassy on foreign soil. The customer would have to complete their Apple Store purchase before entering the Target store. Also, the Apple Store would have dedicated staff using different point of sale terminals.

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post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Also, the Apple Store would have dedicated staff using different point of sale terminals.

Not sure how I feel about that first part, but this? This is a must. We can't have Target idiots in the Mac section. I want employees on Apple's payroll managing the Mac part.

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post #4 of 36
I don't think this "store in a store" thing is a good idea, I often see people avoiding that whole area, including the sales staff. I remember when they started the idea way back with CompUSA, and that wasn't very successful either, I know I worked there.
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post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Target on Thursday confirmed that it plans to open 25 specialty stores dedicated to Apple products inside 25 of its existing retail locations.

."

Soon Apple will the become the everyman choice! Walmart is next! (sarcasm)

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post #6 of 36
Target can benefit from the Apple Stores' cachet. A win for them, and ground gained for Apple, as long as Apple does it on their terms. (And I'd be surprised if it was any other way at this point. as another poster pointed out, this has been tried - and found wanting - before. But that was before Apple had the clout and retail savvy it has today. I just don't see them making the same mistakes again.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Soon Apple will the become the everyman choice! Walmart is next! (sarcasm)

Uh... you DO know Apple already sells through WalMart, don't you? There's actually no reason why, if this works with Target, it would not work in any store with enough foot traffic.
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not sure how I feel about that first part, but this? This is a must. We can't have Target idiots in the Mac section. I want employees on Apple's payroll managing the Mac part.

Have you been to a Target store? Been to the Starbucks in the Targte store? Thye are NOT Starbucks employees....they are Target employees trained to Starbuck standards..... I don't see this changing for the Apple retail presence as well. Apple has a section in some Best Buy stores and they are not Apple employees but BB employees.... This will be no different as the template has been made to create a Apple presense in some large retail stores.

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post #8 of 36
As long as the Apple employee designated for auditing these installations is vigilant it should do well. I know that the Best Buy locations are sometimes a constant fight for Apple to keep the floor space that is suppose to be dedicated to them.

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post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Target can benefit from the Apple Stores' cachet. A win for them, and ground gained for Apple, as long as Apple does it on their terms. (And I'd be surprised if it was any other way at this point. as another poster pointed out, this has been tried - and found wanting - before. But that was before Apple had the clout and retail savvy it has today. I just don't see them making the same mistakes again.)



Uh... you DO know Apple already sells through WalMart, don't you? There's actually no reason why, if this works with Target, it would not work in any store with enough foot traffic.

Yes...I know you can get iPods and iPads....but NOT iMacs and Macbook Pros, Macbooks and a good selection of accessories that a Apple/Mac section designed to look like a Apple store with a big Apple logo.......

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post #10 of 36
This is a case of Ron Johnson reaching out to his past to find a winner. It may work, or not. We will soon find out how much credit he truly deserves for the success of the Apple stores.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Uh... you DO know Apple already sells through WalMart, don't you?

Not Macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Apple has a section in some Best Buy stores and they are not Apple employees but BB employees

All the Best Buys near me have Apple employees manning the store-within-a-store.

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post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not sure how I feel about that first part, but this? This is a must. We can't have Target idiots in the Mac section. I want employees on Apple's payroll managing the Mac part.

There's no confirmation at this point that they will be selling Macs. It seems more likely it will be the same iPods and iPads with perhaps iPhones (if they are not already an iPhone selling store) and associated accessories like Airports, bluetooth keyboards etc. At least during this phase one.

Admin wise they will be Target employees on Targets payroll using the same inventory and pos systems etc. But they will be Apple certified as trained to sell in that area. Rather like in the Super stores that have a pharmacy and you can only dish the RX items if you are (in that case legally) certified to be there. Same game they do at Best Buy

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post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

All the Best Buys near me have Apple employees manning the store-within-a-store.

Apple certified and trained sure. Actual Apple employees on Apple's payroll, benefits etc unlikely. It doesn't benefit either side to have it that way.

Get a paycheck stub from one of those people and see what company is on it. I'll bet that it says Best Buy. Same as the Apple Certified Techs in the Geek Squad. They aren't Apple employees either, they are Best Buy.

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post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

That'd be awesome if the Apple Store within Target was treated like an entirely different country, like an embassy on foreign soil.

I was thinking about this yesterday. The problem with Best Buy, Fry's, et al. is that the retailer and their employees have no incentive to keep Apple's dedicated section stocked, clean, or functional.

In the Fry's I was in it looked like a small tornado had touched down only in the Apple related section. You make Apple lease and control space within a store then you get Apple's mindshare and popularity creating an anchor tenant within a store.

However, having thought the same you I don't think this is possible and/or feasible. Even the small and simple Starbuck's stations within other stores are not run by Starbuck employees but the main retailer.

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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not Macs.



All the Best Buys near me have Apple employees manning the store-within-a-store.

Thye are NOT Apple employees. I have asked them specifically if they were BB employess or Apple employees. They have all said they work for BB but they have specific Apple training.......you should ask them again or their manager.

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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Thye are NOT Apple employees.

The guys with black shirts with Apple logos. Not Apple employees?

Quote:
I have asked them specifically if they were BB employess or Apple employees. They have all said they work for BB

Same, minus the 'work for Best Buy' part. SOMEONE'S lying here.

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post #17 of 36
I looks like they don't need any dedicated Apple people for that display case. Customers need to know what they want to buy and a clerk unlocks the case and takes the box up to the cash register.

That is all there is. No questions, no demos.

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post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The guys with black shirts with Apple logos. Not Apple employees?



Same, minus the 'work for Best Buy' part. SOMEONE'S lying here.

yeah...someone is....
That is NOT what you said in your quote!
"All the Best Buys near me have Apple employees manning the store-within-a-store. "


Link to Wiki article.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Store

"Apple has since re-established ties with major big box retailers like Best Buy, as these chains have considerably more geographical reach than the existing network of Apple Stores. The relationship with Best Buy calls for the company to send Apple Solutions Consultants (ASCs) to train Best Buy employees to be familiar with Apple's product lineup and how Macs work."
So maybe you saw a trainer.........giving you the benifit of doubt BUT the person working at the BB stores are not Apple employees....
Just like sometimes they have HP reps in the printer aisle or a Verizon person hanging out in the Mobile phone section.....they don't work for BB but are onsite occasionally to support their products.
Google it and you will become enlightened....

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post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

So maybe you saw a trainer.........giving you the benifit of doubt BUT the person working at the BB stores are not Apple employees....

Yep, that's who I saw. Black shirt guy that handles all the Mac questions. That makes sense, then.

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post #20 of 36
Target will probably have an Apple aisle with nice signage and their employees will pull the Macbook out of the case, the way they do with iPads, and have you purchase it immediately. Apple is well known for having quality products with no salesperson required. Some Target stores are in upscale locations and already have large electronic departments with expensive items. They have a lot of security cameras that feed a central location and check inventory everyday. This will be a very convenient to pick-up a Macbook. This would also work at JC Penney.
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post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

IThe problem with Best Buy, Fry's, et al. is that the retailer and their employees have no incentive to keep Apple's dedicated section stocked, clean, or functional.

This is my gripe, too, and looking at the photo it already looks a mess. Clearly there is an upside for Apple but it pains me to see how Apple products look LESS good than the other products. When I see 10 - 15 tablets at BestBuy, all lined up, and then a separate section with a couple of dishevelled iPads on it I always wish they were mixed with the rest of them. Either that or Apple products need to be displayed with more love.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I don't think this "store in a store" thing is a good idea, I often see people avoiding that whole area, including the sales staff. I remember when they started the idea way back with CompUSA, and that wasn't very successful either, I know I worked there.

True, it wasn't because, according to Apple, CompUSA was staffed up by salespeople who tried to steer customers towards Windows PC. I remember visiting the CompUSA Apple section and finding it devoid of life, back in 2001. It's a big part of why Apple chose to control the retail experience instead of leaving it in the hands of some smart-mouthed teen who believed Macs weren't cool enough because they didn't have 3dfx cards in them or something.

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post #23 of 36
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Originally Posted by city View Post

Target will probably have an Apple aisle with nice signage and their employees will pull the Macbook out of the case, the way they do with iPads, and have you purchase it immediately. Apple is well known for having quality products with no salesperson required. Some Target stores are in upscale locations and already have large electronic departments with expensive items. They have a lot of security cameras that feed a central location and check inventory everyday. This will be a very convenient to pick-up a Macbook. This would also work at JC Penney.

I'd probably opt to buy Apple products at Target rather than an Apple Store around here. Good luck on getting hold of a sales rep at the Apple Store at Irvine Spectrum in Irvine. That place always seem to be so packed that people are constantly swarming each rep.

The Mission Viejo Apple Store is far less packed, but I am never at that mall.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

I'd probably opt to buy Apple products at Target rather than an Apple Store around here. Good luck on getting hold of a sales rep at the Apple Store at Irvine Spectrum in Irvine. That place always seem to be so packed that people are constantly swarming each rep.

The Mission Viejo Apple Store is far less packed, but I am never at that mall.

There is one Target employee on the sales floor per acre. At least with Apple you can use their website or iOS to reserve products, make an appointment ahead of time, or even buy a product in the store without ever dealing with an Apple employee. If you do none of these things you can still use one of the 50(?) iPod kioskelles to get into a queue that draws an employee to your station.

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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I don't think this "store in a store" thing is a good idea, I often see people avoiding that whole area, including the sales staff. I remember when they started the idea way back with CompUSA, and that wasn't very successful either, I know I worked there.

i remember it well. I was awful. The only worse experience was when sears sold apple products. They were seldom on or didn't work at all, the units were dirty and sales people were non existant or peddled windows boxes.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is one Target employee on the sales floor per acre. At least with Apple you can use their website or iOS to reserve products, make an appointment ahead of time, or even buy a product in the store without ever dealing with an Apple employee. If you do none of these things you can still use one of the 50(?) iPod kioskelles to get into a queue that draws an employee to your station.

I am frequently at Target which is why I would be totally cool with a mini-Apple Store inside one. The queue and making an appointment is very hit-and-miss at the Irvine Spectrum Apple Store. I am not saying all Apple Stores are like that, just that one in particular.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc54 View Post

i remember it well. I was awful. The only worse experience was when sears sold apple products. They were seldom on or didn't work at all, the units were dirty and sales people were non existant or peddled windows boxes.

Sears is all about peddling their Kenmore appliances. Their electronics section is always in poor shape anytime I visited one.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is one Target employee on the sales floor per acre. At least with Apple you can use their website or iOS to reserve products, make an appointment ahead of time, or even buy a product in the store without ever dealing with an Apple employee. If you do none of these things you can still use one of the 50(?) iPod kioskelles to get into a queue that draws an employee to your station.

Target has separate staff behind a showcase with a cash register for the electronics department. You might have to wait for them to finish with another customer, but it seems adequate. One probably shops at Target with a lower expectation, but overall, just like a 7-11, it's convenient and faster then my very busy Apple store nearby. (My city won't allow a Target.)
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post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Target has separate staff behind a showcase with a cash register for the electronics department. You might have to wait for them to finish with another customer, but it seems adequate. One probably shops at Target with a lower expectation, but overall, just like a 7-11, it's convenient and faster then my very busy Apple store nearby. (My city won't allow a Target.)

I'm not saying that there aren't inherent benefits to certain stores in certain areas for certain shoppers at certain time, just pointing out that getting assistance at Apple is easy.

One thing you can't say about Apple is that they trying to keep you from buying their products. Over the last two months they've had a table by the door staffed constantly with popular products ready to carry out. No having a staff member run to the back during the holiday season. This may not be all stores but I think it's most of them.

For me it's even easier as an Apple Store is block away from my residence. I can walk there faster than people can walk from their car in the Target parking lot to the electronics section of the store.

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post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I....I can walk there faster than people can walk from their car in the Target parking lot to the electronics section of the store.

Parking is part of my point. Almost all of these "big box" stores have parking lots. There might be, but I have never seen an Apple store with segregated parking. The historic buildings don't have parking and mail parking lots require a walk (or roll).
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post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

That'd be awesome if the Apple Store within Target was treated like an entirely different country, like an embassy on foreign soil. The customer would have to complete their Apple Store purchase before entering the Target store.

Customers must purchase from Apple before being allowed to shop at Target
post #32 of 36
That said, the only way I see this tarnishing the Apple brand is if the consumer ends up hating their Apple purchase.

IMHO, the origin of the employee's W2 doesn't really matter.

What does matter is whether or not the customer is properly informed about their Apple purchase. The the real value of Apple's stand alone retail stores is relevant information given out by quality personnel.

As long as Apple mandates that the product is represented correctly, as a longtime stockholder, see no real threat to the brand.

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post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

For me it's even easier as an Apple Store is block away from my residence. I can walk there faster than people can walk from their car in the Target parking lot to the electronics section of the store.

Apple Stores are generally in shopping malls in my area. Target's parking lot would be a lot easier than hunting for spots in parking garages and dealing with stairs/escalators/elevators.
post #34 of 36
At the risk of sounding pompous, I've always prided myself in knowing more than the knuckleheads at Fry's or even the Apple Store. It's thanks to sites like these and detailed Internet searching that i can be more knowledgeable than they. Now if it's about their inventory or store processes, obviously I can't know that.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple certified and trained sure. Actual Apple employees on Apple's payroll, benefits etc unlikely. It doesn't benefit either side to have it that way.

Get a paycheck stub from one of those people and see what company is on it. I'll bet that it says Best Buy. Same as the Apple Certified Techs in the Geek Squad. They aren't Apple employees either, they are Best Buy.


I wouldn't be surprised if Apple has a similar relationship with Best Buy as cosmetic companies have with department stores like Macys. For instance, when you go to the Calvin Klein fragrance Department at Macys the employees working that stand work for Macys. They, however, are trained by the vendor, work only at the vendors station, and the vendor reimburses Macys at least part of the employees' salary. Macys also has floaters that will go to various cosmetic counters to help when extra help is needed or when the employee assigned to the vender is off. I used to be such an employee. I would get a Macys' paycheck (that Macys would get reimbursed for), and also a commission check directly from the company. Some employees like those working the big named cosmetic booths made over a hundred thousand dollars a year ringing up cosmetic sales. The annoying people that try to spray you with fragrance work directly for the cosmetic companies as well and are considered independent contractors.
post #36 of 36
I think this is a good idea. I go to both Walmart and Target occasionally. Both Stores have Android tablets out for customers to play with. Apple products are stuck behind plastic, and as such, don't get played with. People who buy Apple products in places like Target and Walmart likely came in the store to buy them and are not buying them because they played with the product in the Store and love it.

The opposite is probably true for Android based products like the Nook and Kindle. I have repeatedly witnessed Target and Walmart employees steering people away from the iPad to a Kindle or Nook, saying something like, "I have this and it does just about everything the iPad does."

Apple needs loyal people pushing its products. Further, people should be able to play with Apple's products in those stores.
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