Minnesota-Based Retailer Aims To Expand ‘Apple Shopping Destination’ Concept To More Stores Across U.S.

NEWS: 05.18.21 – Guests visiting the electronics department at Target will soon be able to… “expect more” (of Apple’s gadgets in-store).

Earlier this year, Target — a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer with more than 1,900 stores currently in operation across the U.S. — announced a new retail collaboration with the Cupertino, California-based company which it described as, an “Apple shopping destination” featuring enhanced services in-store. According to a press release on Target’s corporate website, this strategic partnership rolling out in stores nationwide builds on a 15+ year-long relationship between the two companies.

A new retail collaboration rolling out nationwide to Target stores throughout 2021 is a concept called an “Apple shopping destination” which features a central station in-store staffed by Target’s own tech consultants. (Photo: Target Corp.)

In the press release regarding the rollout, Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer at Target, indicated that future rollouts of this new retail collaboration between the two companies are planned for later this year.

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‘Expect More. Pay Less.’

According to Hennington, the concept for the Apple shopping destination was specifically created with Target’s guests in mind.

To accommodate this updated model inside its stores, Apple’s footprint within the electronics department was doubled in order to install a space dedicated to showcasing Apple products and accessories. As part of the enhanced services in-store, guests will be able to receive demos of the merchandise on display via Target’s knowledgeable tech consultants who have received official product training from the Cupertino, California-based company.

Guests also will be able to find an expanded assortment of Apple products and accessories when shopping online at Target.com or when using the Target app.

As an added bonus? When using a Target RedCard, cardholders can take 5% off their purchase of Apple products and accessories (like Target’s tagline says, “Expect More. Pay Less.”).

A Targeted Rollout

These shopping destinations featuring Apple products and accessories originally debuted back in February and were initially rolled out to 17 Target store locations in a select number of cities and states across the U.S.:

  • five stores in the state of Texas in the following cities- Allen (T2516), Austin (T1797), Hurst (T1766), Irving (T1032), and San Antonio (T1354)
  • four stores in the state of Florida in the following cities- Clearwater (T1820), Gainesville (T0687), Miami (T2848), and Orlando (T1790)
  • one store each in the states of California in the city of San Jose (T0324); Delaware in the city of Newark (T2764); Massachusetts in the city of Woburn (T1266); Minnesota in the city of Monticello (T2180); New Hampshire in the city of Nashua (T1532); New York in the city of Latham (T1915); Oklahoma in the city of Oklahoma City (T1397); and Pennsylvania in the city of North Wales (T1159)

According to fast facts listed in the “All About Target” page on Target’s corporate website, 75% of the nation’s population lives within 10 miles of a Target in all 50 states (including Washington, D.C.). When the Apple shopping destination concept finally rolls out to even more of the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer’s other stores around the country, the Cupertino, California-based company’s retail presence outside of the Apple Store (with its 269 store locations which can be found only in select cities across the U.S. and do not include every state) will expand even further, extending Apple’s reach to additional customers who may not have previously had access to devices such as the Apple Watch, iPad, or iPhone.

It is not known at this time which of the other Target store locations around the country have since opened an Apple shopping destination, nor is it clear if all 1,909 stores currently in operation across the U.S. will be converted to the updated model (and, additionally, whether the process will be completed this year, sometime in 2022, or beyond). Target’s corporate office was contacted by this media outlet for specific details with regard to such. However, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer did not respond to multiple requests for additional information and further clarification.

‘The Apple Of Its Aisles’

The nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, Best Buy — a Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer with more than 1,030 stores currently in operation across the U.S. — also has a similar arrangement with the Cupertino, California-based company, featuring an in-store setup (akin to Target’s shopping destinations) with a space dedicated to showcasing Apple products and accessories, such as the Apple TV and HomePod mini, but with one major difference: it also sells the Mac.

In a report from 2015 published by Forbes, the magazine reported that Best Buy had been implementing a, “store-within-a-store” concept which was an important strategy that allowed it to lure in major brands like Apple to its stores (a relationship that actually dates back to 2006 when the consumer electronics chain agreed to sell the Mac in-store after it previously discontinued its sale in 1998 due to slow sales). These strategic partnerships between the retailer and its vendor partners, since 2013, have been key to driving Best Buy’s profits and growth, allowing it to secure other partner vendors such as Samsung: the Seoul, South Korea-based company which manufactures the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers.

Forbes reported that the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer’s efforts to build mutually profitable relationships with its vendor partners, as the magazine put it, “flow both ways” making these arrangements beneficial to both parties involved. While Apple and Samsung gain more visibility (which the Galaxy smartphone maker does through Best Buy’s “Samsung Experience Shops” that are staffed by Samsung’s own tech consultants, allowing the Seoul, South Korea-based company to directly interact with customers in-store), Best Buy also gains, too. Additionally, some vendors compete with their retail partners not only in size but in service as well and the key to having a competitive advantage is to, as the publication noted, search for ways to match the same customer experience found in these vendors’ own retail stores (e.g., the Apple Store).

According to Hennington? The new Apple shopping destination offers guests a customer experience through enhanced services in-store that build on Target’s strength as, in the words of the executive Vice President and chief growth officer at Target, “a go-to destination” for consumer electronics.

Related Reading: from the PowerBook Central archives (December 2006) – “Top Two Electronics Store Retail Chains Selling Macs Again

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