UK's Carphone Warehouse denied Apple Watch at launch, hints at Apple retail plans

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 2015
The CEO of Carphone Warehouse, Britain's biggest cellphone retailer, on Tuesday said that his company's 800 stores were left out of the Apple Watch launch scheduled to kick off on April 24, suggesting other big box chains around the world are in the same situation.




Carphone Warehouse chief Graham Stapleton told The Telegraph that Apple plans to limit Apple Watch sales to Apple Stores and dedicated Apple Watch shops at launch.

"We would love to be able to stock the Apple Watch," Stapleton said. "I've got to be careful what I say but I think they are just going another way with it. We have not been given the opportunity."

Stapleton's statements are in line with rumors claiming big box electronics store Best Buy would not have access to the device on April 24. Fashion retailer Nordstrom was supposedly in talks to carry Apple Watch some time in the future, while other known partner resellers refused to comment on availability.

Compared to previous product launches, Apple is heading in a completely different direction with Apple Watch, the report suggests. The assumption is partly true, as Apple is in the process of building dedicated Apple Watch shops at luxury department stores in London, Paris and Japan.

It should be noted, however, that Apple itself is leasing space for its pop-up stores, presumably with the intent to staff and manage them directly. With rumors of low manufacturing yields and a slow-starting ramp, it is likely that Apple Watch will become available through normal channels in the coming months.

Although Apple's retail strategy remains unknown, investors are already fielding guesses as to how well Apple Watch will sell. Earlier today, analyst Gene Munster said he believes Apple Watch preorders and first weekend sales will come out to one million units, a number predicted to increase to 2.3 million by June.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31

    You can't just sell these in any old store, they need a proper experience.

  • Reply 2 of 31
    Makes good sense. However, 47th Street Camera store will have gray-market ?Watches on opening day.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Apple wants to control the entire experience...at least at launch. Good move.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Apple wants to control the entire experience...at least at launch. Good move.



    Hopefully longer than that. Imagine these at Best Buy.

     

    "Yo, dude, you want this Monster battery pack and screen protector to go with that? How about our product protection plan? Do you have a Reward Zone card? You want one? You sure you don't want a Samsung watch instead? I'll sell you a Moto 270 cheap dude."

     

    Yeah, pass.

  • Reply 5 of 31
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I think Best Buy technically sells watches* so I can see it placed in there**, but does Carphone Warehouse?


    * By watches I mean non niche wrist-worn devices that we know classify as fitness trackers or "smart"watches.
    ** That's being objective. I don't think Best Buy's poor sales, poor customer experience, and poor selection really work for something like ?Watch out of the gate. I say that while seeing both Target and Wal-Mart being good places to sell ?Watch Sport right away.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    I think Best Buy technically sells watches* so I can see it placed in there**, but does Carphone Warehouse?





    * By watches I mean non niche wrist-worn devices that we know classify as fitness trackers or "smart"watches.

    ** That's being objective. I don't think Best Buy's poor sales, poor customer experience, and poor selection really work for something like ?Watch out of the gate. I say that while seeing both Target and Wal-Mart being good places to sell ?Watch Sport right away.



    Target I agree with, Wal-Mart, I'm not so sure. They've really moved downscale over the last decade, and their Apple product displays are usually very poorly maintained. I've seen one where they just put the empty boxes of iPads, upside-down, in the display case and wrote "DISPLAY" in Sharpie on them. Jony would have throttled someone if he'd seen it.

  • Reply 7 of 31
    For starters, they might want consider changing their embarrassingly weird, low class-sounding name.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 156member
    To sell the Apple Watch ubiquitously would cheapen the experience. That defeats the purpose for bringing someone like Angela Ahrendts aboard. I would think Neiman Marcus would be more in line with Apple Watch than Nordstrom. Neiman Marcus has a precious jewelry area in which the $17,000 edition watch would hardly be the most expensive merchandise. They also have the security to go with it. The notion of the edition watch in a Best Buy is laughable even with a dedicated leased concession within the store. I continue to think the retail strategy they are using will be a failure despite the sales success of the watch itself. The watch may well succeed despite the rollout. They needed to bring Ron Johnson back....Burberry is not a translatable experience.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,744member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    You can't just sell these in any old store, they need a proper experience.




    That's very true.  Selling them at stores like Best Buy will cheapen the watch brand.  Like it did with the introduction of the iPhone, Apple needs to control the experience from the very beginning for the foreseeable future, and the see how it goes.



    Besides, I can easily see a bunch of pimply-faced Best Buy skateboard rats posting a youtube video of them destroying a watch like they did with iPads and iPhones.  

  • Reply 10 of 31
    prolineproline Posts: 194member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    For starters, they might want consider changing their embarrassingly weird, low class-sounding name.



    Correct. Warehouse implies a customer who is looking for cheapness and willing to sacrifice on customer service and the buying experience in general. Carphone implies they've done nothing but rest on their laurels for the last 20 years. Put that together and you get something a high-end luxury watch shouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

  • Reply 11 of 31
    It's payback for all the anti-Apple trolling from the UK posted on these forums /s
  • Reply 12 of 31
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I think Best Buy technically sells watches* so I can see it placed in there**, but does Carphone Warehouse?


    * By watches I mean non niche wrist-worn devices that we know classify as fitness trackers or "smart"watches.
    ** That's being objective. I don't think Best Buy's poor sales, poor customer experience, and poor selection really work for something like ?Watch out of the gate. I say that while seeing both Target and Wal-Mart being good places to sell ?Watch Sport right away.

    Hmm...I wonder about that. Already some people are bitching because the rumors claim SS and Edition buyers will get a higher level of customer sport. So I can only imagine what some would say if Apple decided to sell only the sport at places like Target and Walmart. I could see Apple putting a pop up shop in Macy's or Nordstrom before ever going the Target/Walmart/Best Buy route.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    sdbryansdbryan Posts: 319member
    The Apple Stores were a brilliant strategic investment by Apple to bypass marginalization in a Windows world. But personally I am happy to purchase Apple hardware at a conveniently located Best Buy. The "purchasing experience" for me is exchanging money for a great gadget. I will be happy when the luxury market hype subsides and Apple discussions don't center on douchebags buying overpriced gold trinkets. The part that matters, which determines the success or failure of this new platform, is technology that Apple sells for well less than $1,000. You know, like almost everything else that Apple sells.

    I appreciate first how well made the products are, how nicely they are packaged, how they are supported at Apple Stores regardless of where the product was purchased. But this snobbery about where Apple products are sold, feh.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    For starters, they might want consider changing their embarrassingly weird, low class-sounding name.

    So true. "Carphone Warehouse" has that air about it like "Radio Shack." Not what comes to mind when one sets out to buy a luxury item... Best Buy is the place to pick up a rubber Samsung "Gear" watch... but like White Falcon said above:

    "Yo, dude, you want this Monster battery pack and screen protector to go with that? How about our product protection plan? Do you have a Reward Zone card? You want one? You sure you don't want a Samsung watch instead? I'll sell you a Moto 270 cheap dude."

    Apple makes the experience of shopping different... Shopping for a ?Watch will be even more special.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,738member

    What kind of weirdo names their business "Carphone Warehouse" ?

     

    They should only exclusively sell Android devices there because that name really blows.

  • Reply 16 of 31
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I think Best Buy technically sells watches* so I can see it placed in there**, but does Carphone Warehouse?


    * By watches I mean non niche wrist-worn devices that we know classify as fitness trackers or "smart"watches.
    ** That's being objective. I don't think Best Buy's poor sales, poor customer experience, and poor selection really work for something like ?Watch out of the gate. I say that while seeing both Target and Wal-Mart being good places to sell ?Watch Sport right away.

    Fry's has one of the worst maintained Apple areas around. Computers are locked to password protected store accounts requiring a commissioned salesman to unlock it, and no they won't leave you to play with the computer unless they're standing next to you hoping to ring you up. Only one of each Mac SKU is on display, maybe less. And the Apple aisles usually now share shelf space with Microsoft Surface and Samsung tablets and accessories because commissioned salesmen don't care what you buy as long as they get to ring you up. Apple should terminate its agreement with dumps like Fry's who would happily reclaim their Apple section to sell, I dunno, Haier branded $29 DVD players. It's not like Frys even makes that much money per square foot of retail space, so it's no big loss to them. And Apple Watch? Have you seen the watch section at Fry's? It's dominated by Armitron or at best, $39 Timex watches. OMG there's a layer of dust on those watch displays.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Hmm...I wonder about that. Already some people are bitching because the rumors claim SS and Edition buyers will get a higher level of customer sport. So I can only imagine what some would say if Apple decided to sell only the sport at places like Target and Walmart. I could see Apple putting a pop up shop in Macy's or Nordstrom before ever going the Target/Walmart/Best Buy route.

    Note, I don't expect either Target or Wal-Mart to sell ?Watch right away, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they did. I think the 3rd-party retailer rollout depends on too factors we simply don't have access to.
  • Reply 18 of 31

    Dixons-Carphone Warehouse is just about the last place to even consider buying 'stuff'.

    My local store does not carry iPhones or iPads (they say that there is no demand...)

    Their display of Mac's is hidden in a dark corner. My impression is that they simply don't care about anything with an Apple brand on it.

     

    When I were a child, the dead end job was to serve behind the counter at Woolies. Now it is either selling what might pass for food at that place with golden arches or working in places like Dixons-CPW.

    Skills are really lacking. So is it any wonder that CPW isn't selling the Apple Watch?

  • Reply 19 of 31

    Carphone? What on earth is a carphone? Is that something like a fridge toaster? Does anyone use such a thing now a days? That is like iTunes calling itself the Wax Cylinder.

  • Reply 20 of 31
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    Carphone. Car- Phone. Those big, heavy, ugly contraptions from 1991. Yeah, pair that with Warehouse and you've really got a luxury brand just primed to sell high quality items.
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