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Wal-Mart's new Apple section seen as precursor to Mac sales

post #1 of 168
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Wal-Mart's move to overhaul the electronics departments in many of its retail stores with Apple-designated shopping areas is being seen as a sign that the mega-retailer is making a pitch to eventually carry Apple's line of Mac personal computers.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter began revamping the electronics departments in approximately 3,500 of its stores this week -- including 2,600 Supercenter locations -- in a bid to capitalize on a large slice of the big-screen TV market vacated by Circuit City, which shut down its operations after filing for bankruptcy in November.

As part of the renovations, which should provide for a more spacious and interactive shopping experience, Wal-Mart will also be rolling out specialized in-store boutiques for popular brands such and Nintendo and Apple, similar to the Apple store-within-a-store layouts found in Best Buy retail stores.

Ben Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital, sees the move as a precursor to Wal-Mart extending its reach beyond iPods, iPhones, and accessories to Apple's Mac line of computers.

"We believe Wal-Mart is actively pitching Apple to carry more products," he said. "With Wal-Mart improving its retail displays, we believe that the mega-retailer could eventually earn the right to sell select Mac products without diluting Apples brand."

Upon last check, Apple had under 10,000 distribution points for the Mac worldwide, so a move into Wal-Mart would increase Mac exposure significantly. Reitzes also noted that many of Wal-Mart's stores are located in rural areas not near one of Apple's own company stores.

That said, the analyst doesn't see the existing Mac line as a particularly good fit for the discount retailer outside of the $599 Mac mini and $999 MacBook offerings, but said he believes the company is working on more sub-$1000 products that may eventually appeal to Wal-Mart's customer base.

"We have recently stated that Apple could reposition the low-end of it Mac lines to be more affordable as well as eventually introduce an ultraportable touchscreen tablet device as early as this year," Reitzes said. He's likely referring to a couple of AppleInsider reports on those respective matters, including plans for more affordable Macs later this year and a Newton-like web tablet sometime thereafter.

Still, Apple has approached the Wal-Mart demographic with caution over the years, mainly out of concern that the big-box retailer could tarnish the company's reputation if its products aren't displayed and marketed with care.

For example, the electronics maker first tested the waters for iPod sales by providing Wal-Mart only with its budget $99 iPod shuffle. Similarly, it didn't extend iPhone sales to the retailer until the handset had been on the market 18 months and its sales first tested at another big-box retailer, Best Buy.

Best Buy began retrofitting many of its stores with Apple boutiques last year.

"Apple is very particular and exclusive with who sells its Macs (much more so than iPods) and any 'Mac experiment' with Wal-Mart would likely start very gradually via a pilot program at first -- just like Mac sales started at Best Buy," said Reitzes.

If done right, the analyst believes both sides would reap benefits: Apple would see increased distribution while Wal-Marts brand would likely see a boost in its attempt to compete with Best Buy as a quality electronics retailer.

"Note that Apples Mac sales growth accelerated markedly when it first expanded with Best Buy and more distribution deals may not be far behind if Apple wants to keep pace with the rapidly growing netbook category in its own distinctive way," Reitzes said.
post #2 of 168
But they can move boxes.

And who know what Apple's product landscape is going to be even in a couple of years with mobile devices taking off.
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post #3 of 168
does this mean there will be a redneck version of the iMac coming so the rednecks can feel superior now? the rMac? so

someone needs to dig up that old screenshot of the redneck version of windows


i bet these are the rumors of the cheaper Macs. Apple is going to make a box with entry level LCD or whatever screens they use like Dell does on it's entry level systems.
post #4 of 168
Apple please don't do this.
post #5 of 168
I'm an AT&T employee, and this just suprizes me due to the fact that Wal-Marts iPhone sales are just not cutting it, says our region director.

Plus, are you really gonna buy a mac from somewhere that really has no idea about them?
post #6 of 168
I haven't shopped at Wal-Mart in eight years. It truly is "redneck central", and not somewhere Apple computers need to be sold.
post #7 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotkirby View Post

I'm an AT&T employee, and this just suprizes me due to the fact that Wal-Marts iPhone sales are just not cutting it, says our region director.

Plus, are you really gonna buy a mac from somewhere that really has no idea about them?

Apple typically never just throws Mac in a store. They usually throw their own Apple trained employees in if they're going to sell Macs in a particular store. I doubt Wal-Mart would be any different.

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post #8 of 168
Soon as I saw the headline Wal-Mart may carry Apple computers, I was waiting for all the condescending comments about Wal-Mart and its customers. This is so arrogant, frustrating and unnecessary. As long as Apples quality remains high, it should not matter if their products are sold at Wal-Mart. Apple should not try to only cater to snobs, but gain as much market share as possible. Ive been an Apple fan for years and feel this type of junior high discussion alienates a lot of potential new Apple customers.
post #9 of 168
I truly hope this does not come to pass. No offense too the folks that shop at Wal-Mart, but this is not an image that Apple needs to be associated with. Target, maybe but Wal-Mart is no place for a computer that most people who shop there (and I stress most) can not afford. I believe in getting the best product(s) to all walks of life, but this is just the road Apple does not need to take with their computers.

S
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post #10 of 168
Thats interesting. I hope the sales people they bring it or that will work this area are not biased with certain companies. I know I'll sound stereotypical here, but just about every Walmart that I've gone too for the electronic sections are pretty much Windows Fanbois. I've always seen them trying to sell the Zune vs the iPod time and time again.
post #11 of 168
If this is true, I think it would mean that Apple will be pushing out less expensive Macs in the near future. This could be a premium netbook (though theyll never such as such) or the continuing of the polycarb MacBook.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Note that Apples Mac sales growth accelerated markedly when it first expanded with Best Buy and more distribution deals may not be far behind if Apple wants to keep pace with the rapidly growing netbook category in its own distinctive way," Reitzes said.

The idea that Apple needs to keep up with netbook sales is like saying they need to keep up with $400 notebook sales. If they do a netbook will be at least double the current offerings.
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post #12 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmsway View Post

Soon as I saw the headline Wal-Mart may carry Apple computers, I was waiting for all the condescending comments about Wal-Mart and its customers. This is so arrogant, frustrating and unnecessary. As long as Apples quality remains high, it should not matter if their products are sold at Wal-Mart. Apple should not try to only cater to snobs, but gain as much market share as possible. Ive been an Apple fan for years and feel this type of junior high discussion alienates a lot of potential new Apple customers.

Agreed! What difference does it make where you buy your Mac? If you buy an iMac from Wal-Mart does it make the iMac lesser than the same exact iMac purchased from an Apple Retail Store? This is very asinine thinking. Almost like we have a bunch of 10yr olds here posting.

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post #13 of 168
Quote:
"Apple is very particular and exclusive with who sells its Macs..."

...except for that computer dumpsite known as "Fry's Electronics". Be careful what you wish for indeed (in terms of expanding marketshare).

I don't think anyone here wants Apple to be as marginalized as, say Bang and Olufson, but it's a delicate walk when reaching out to more of the buying public. I don't think there's any doubt that more affluent customers are generally better educated, and the obverse is true as well. Let's hope that Apple walks this line carefully.
post #14 of 168
Seeing this cracks me up! It made me finally realize how much of a monopoly Apple wishes it could be. They are SOOOO great they cannot mingle with other computers they have to have their own "buffet" of computers seperated from all the others with is own special stuff hahahaha.

Ridiculous.
post #15 of 168
Who the hell thought you could class up Wal-Mart?

Well, there you go.
post #16 of 168
EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuYYYYYYeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwWWWWW W!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #17 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Apple is very particular and exclusive with who sells its Macs (much more so than iPods) and any 'Mac experiment' with Wal-Mart would likely start very gradually via a pilot program at first -- just like Mac sales started at Best Buy," said Reitzes.

I have only ever seen Macs / Apple, presented well in two other stores (iStore - dedicated to Apple products, and John Lewis in the UK) than Apple's own stores. It is depressing to see how bad Apple products look at Best Buy or other stores. There is no focus, the equipment looks out of place - like an after thought, and no-one cares or knows much about it. Wall-Mart / Apple? It seems a very odd mix but maybe Apple's presence there will help the general impression that Apple products are elitist and only for the well off. Which would be a good thing.
post #18 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post

I truly hope this does not come to pass. No offense too the folks that shop at Wal-Mart, but this is not an image that Apple needs to be associated with. Target, maybe but Wal-Mart is no place for a computer that most people who shop there (and I stress most) can not afford. I believe in getting the best product(s) to all walks of life, but this is just the road Apple does not need to take with their computers.

S

So do you have proof of this mythical perception that most wal-mart customers are poor?

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post #19 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

...except for that computer dumpsite known as "Fry's Electronics". Be careful what you wish for indeed (in terms of expanding marketshare).

I don't think anyone here wants Apple to be as marginalized as, say Bang and Olufson, but it's a delicate walk when reaching out to more of the buying public. I don't think there's any doubt that more affluent customers are generally better educated, and the obverse is true as well. Let's hope that Apple walks this line carefully.

As they must. It's not about Wal-Mart customers, it's about Wal-Mart's approach to retailing. I don't need to describe this to anyone who has actually been in a Wal-Mart store.

Apple has had their share of bad experiences with mass market retailers. Does anyone remember when Apple products were sold in Sears? They tried this twice, and the results were terrible both times. The products were displayed poorly, and often as not, they didn't even work, not even plugged in a lot of the time. This is the primary reason why Apple started their own chain of retail stores. It's hard to imagine where Apple would be today if they hadn't aggressively taken control of their retail image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shavex View Post

Seeing this cracks me up! It made me finally realize how much of a monopoly Apple wishes it could be. They are SOOOO great they cannot mingle with other computers they have to have their own "buffet" of computers seperated from all the others with is own special stuff hahahaha.

Ridiculous.

Speaking of ridiculous, this remark could only be made by someone lacking the first clue about retailing.
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post #20 of 168
Well I suppose everything Apple and WalMArt comes out of CHINA so its only fitting.
post #21 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I have only ever seen Macs / Apple, presented well in two other stores (iStore - dedicated to Apple products, and John Lewis in the UK) than Apple's own stores. It is depressing to see how bad Apple products look at Best Buy or other stores. There is no focus, the equipment looks out of place - like an after thought, and no-one cares or knows much about it. Wall-Mart / Apple? It seems a very odd mix but maybe Apple's presence there will help the general impression that Apple products are elitist and only for the well off. Which would be a good thing.

Every MacBook/Pro here in NYC at Best Buy is dented or scratched.
post #22 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotkirby View Post

I'm an AT&T employee, and this just suprizes me due to the fact that Wal-Marts iPhone sales are just not cutting it, says our region director.

Plus, are you really gonna buy a mac from somewhere that really has no idea about them?

How is that any different from buying a Mac mini from Best Buy or even in some cases an actual Apple Store???

Also being an AT&T employee you should be very understanding of the lack of knowledge that causes a vacuum in the space/time continuum when you talk to an AT&T sales floor rep about ANYTHING.
post #23 of 168
Does it really matter where Apple sells its hardware?

Millions of people shop at Wal-Marts across the country everyday, and not all of those people are white trash living on welfare. Wal-Mart sells iPods like crazy. Maybe Apple's finally coming around and is willing to put trained salesmen in Wal-Marts like they have with Best Buy.

Let's face it, Wal-Mart is hardly any trashier than Best Buy. Best Buy is terrible and I laugh at anyone trying to claim Best Buy is a better retailer than Wal-Mart.
post #24 of 168
If Apple is finally willing to compete on price, they'll be able to move a ton of computers through Wally World.
post #25 of 168
Netbooks are crap, they will die soon when people realize how garbage they are, already we are starting to see evidence of this:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10...ag=mncol;title
post #26 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

Netbooks are crap, they will die soon when people realize how garbage they are, already we are starting to see evidence of this:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10...ag=mncol;title

Hey fanboy- people have been saying the same thing about Windows for 25 years and what's its market share?
post #27 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

Apple please don't do this.

Amen to that, brother.
post #28 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by t0x View Post

Does it really matter where Apple sells its hardware?

It really matters. I don't see Wal-Mart changing their approach to retailing to suit Apple, which means that if they went into Wal-Mart, Apple would be trying to sell Macs alongside stacks of HP computers in a box for $399, and nobody around to explain the difference. Not that anyone goes into a Wal-Mart expecting to be helped. They go in with the hopes of finding a bargain. Unless something changes massively in Wal-Mart's approach, this is not a good retail environment for Apple.
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post #29 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post

I truly hope this does not come to pass. No offense too the folks that shop at Wal-Mart, but this is not an image that Apple needs to be associated with. Target, maybe but Wal-Mart is no place for a computer that most people who shop there (and I stress most) can not afford. I believe in getting the best product(s) to all walks of life, but this is just the road Apple does not need to take with their computers.

S

Target is the exact same thing as Wal Mart, but the official color is red instead of blue. except you can get more organic food at Wal mart than Target. few years ago i was in Ohio with no Whole Foods anywhere. and i found the same juice they sell at Whole Foods at a Super Walmart
post #30 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Hey fanboy- people have been saying the same thing about Windows for 25 years and what's its market share?

What does the nonsense you wrote have to do with some netbooks having 30% return rate?
post #31 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotkirby View Post

I'm an AT&T employee, and this just suprizes me due to the fact that Wal-Marts iPhone sales are just not cutting it, says our region director.

Plus, are you really gonna buy a mac from somewhere that really has no idea about them?

EXACTLY.

Times are tough for the Mac maker and WalMart isn't the answer lol

Who is gonna buy a Mac from there?

I always think of WalMart as CHEAP!

The Apple image is going downhill....


Soon Macs will be available at your local Thrift stores lol
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post #32 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmsway View Post

Soon as I saw the headline Wal-Mart may carry Apple computers, I was waiting for all the condescending comments about Wal-Mart and its customers. This is so arrogant, frustrating and unnecessary. As long as Apples quality remains high, it should not matter if their products are sold at Wal-Mart. Apple should not try to only cater to snobs, but gain as much market share as possible. Ive been an Apple fan for years and feel this type of junior high discussion alienates a lot of potential new Apple customers.

I suspected there was an arrogant theme from many apple fans but this thread solidifies what my gut told me. I am an long time Apple fan and Mac user (since 1988) and a long time reader of "Insider" but this is my first post. I live almost 2 hours from the nearest Apple store and would welcome a closer outlet. It is also difficult to "evangelize" to newbies when they cannot see or touch a Mac product. There are many people that are frustrated with the PC experience that the Mac guy ads have accurately targeted but are reluctant to buy without seeing and touching a computer.

Will Wally world offer the right experience and outlet to reach many who otherwise feel obliged to stay in the PC world? Only time will tell. But if done properly Apple will definitely gain market-share. For the record I am not a fan of Walmart but there are many customers that shop there that can afford Mac products. Just my thoughts.
post #33 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Agreed! What difference does it make where you buy your Mac? If you buy an iMac from Wal-Mart does it make the iMac lesser than the same exact iMac purchased from an Apple Retail Store? This is very asinine thinking. Almost like we have a bunch of 10yr olds here posting.


the way wal mart works with brand name electronics is they sell slightly different models at lower prices than best buy. with a LCD TV it usually means a cheaper screen than the version sold at Best Buy or another store.

if you compare the same brand TV's at Wal Mart and other stores you'll see slight differences in the model number. it usually tells you the manufacturer of the screen
post #34 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Apple typically never just throws Mac in a store. They usually throw their own Apple trained employees in if they're going to sell Macs in a particular store. I doubt Wal-Mart would be any different.

I don't know what you're talking about. Best Buy is the same as it has always been about Apple products. I went in there recently to buy a DisplayPort adapter so I didn't have to wait for it to ship or drive to the Apple store and the guy who asked to help kind of sneered when I told him what I was looking for and said, 'The Apple stuff is over there'. Apple trained my ass. Just think, this guy was probably better for Apple sales than the old lady working the electronics department at Wal-Mart who had to call someone to figure out what a Wii fit was that I was looking for my mom. I mean, if she doesn't even know what a Wii Fit is - one of their best selling items that Christmas - how would she help ANYONE with purchasing ANYTHING technology related.
post #35 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

So do you have proof of this mythical perception that most wal-mart customers are poor?

well over here on the west coast, the about 90% of the people i see in walmart are either crackheads or people that really have no business owening a computer because if their 13 children wont have food for months. i live in oregon and its really that bad here. so your interpretation of who shops at walmart in incorrect.
and second, the people who work in the electronics are complete idiots. i have tried getting help from them but it is useless. apple would have no other choice but to put their own employees in the store otherwise apple would fail. i personally think apple should keep what they are doing. putting macs in a wal-mart is a bad idea. and also, they would go through so many display computers it wouldn't be worth it. i have seen kids put the wii mote in their mouths and throw it around while the parents don't even pay attention. i would hate to see people abuse apple products like that.
post #36 of 168
Has anyone seen an iPhone display at there local Wal-mart recently? Was an iPhone on it? Seems we have been here before, lest we forget the days when you could buy Macs at Circuit City/Computer City/CompUSA/etc.
post #37 of 168
Wal-Mart is about cheapness and leaning on suppliers until they give them the lowest price possible. Selling Macs simply doesn't make from Wal-Mart's perspective.
post #38 of 168
Quote:
Seeing this cracks me up! It made me finally realize how much of a monopoly Apple wishes it could be. They are SOOOO great they cannot mingle with other computers they have to have their own "buffet" of computers seperated from all the others with is own special stuff hahahaha.

Ridiculous.

Youre not thinking this through. If Wal-Mart/Apple provides in-store experts to answer all questions about Apple products, the products have to be centralized. The experts would be giving demos, and need to respond to queries from those eyeing Apple products.

If this expansion materializes, my assumption is that Apple wishes to take advantage of the existing Wal-Mart network, without having to further expand its own, in a tenuous economy.

The earlier post about netbooks being junk has limited application here. After all, Apple doesn't make junk, unless you count MobileMe, with all its bugs and molasses file transfer rates to iDisks.
post #39 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

So do you have proof of this mythical perception that most wal-mart customers are poor?

There is no "mythical perception". Walk into one and tell me you truly see the class of people that visit an Apple Store is the same. I'm not saying the people who shop at Wal-Mart could not afford a Macintosh; I said "most" could not afford one. Nor do I think less of them. You can go to Wal-Mar to purchase a Dell and walk out thinking you have done right in buying an affordable computer for basic needs but understand this, Wal-Mart has them image of cheap low priced items that I believe Apple should not associate themselves with in the computer area. There has to be a line in which is drawn as to what Apple needs to be see as. A corporation that has loyal customers that can be comforted in the fact that quality comes before quantity and that by selling their products in a place that can make the purchasing experience (an Apple Store for example) more enjoyable. Perhaps you would like dealing with a Wal-Mart employee who may or may not have a clue how to present a Mac? No thanks, Im sticking with an Apple Store or Best Buy. Im talking about the Apple image across the board and how is viewed by investors, current and hopefully future Apple consumers.

Also, please do not put words in my mouth in that I'm implying that only "poor people" shop at Wal-Mart. From time to time I purchase items there and yes, Im financial sound thank you.
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post #40 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

I haven't shopped at Wal-Mart in eight years. It truly is "redneck central", and not somewhere Apple computers need to be sold.

Gee, Mr. Mooney, why in heck would you care where someone else bought their Apple system?

You've missed some good pricing. Walmart is consistently the lowest priced retailer of just about EVERYTHING. That is the only reason to shop at Walmart. Macs won't be discounted, since they never are, so I wouldn't buy one there. I'd buy at Bestbuy for the 18 months interest free.

But you don't care, Mr. Mooney, (in my best Gayle Gordon voice) because "You're RICH!"
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