Target officially announced on Thursday that it plans to open Apple Mini-Stores in 25 of its locations, This confirms a report we published last week.
Stephanie Clifford writing for the New York Times:
A Target spokeswoman, Dustee Jenkins, described the tests as “expanded displays” of Apple products, but declined to say how the merchandise would be arranged or whether there would be Apple Store-like displays to showcase it.
Apple already has small stores within Best Buy locations, but enlarging its presence at Target would make the computer, phone and music brand more accessible to everyday shoppers who are not necessarily looking for electronics.
Target already sells a few Apple products in its stores. iPods and iPads are currently on the shelves, but it does not sell Apple’s Mac lineup of computers. Ms. Jenkins declined to comment on whether the “store within a store” would sell computers.
Ms. Clifford continues, “Stores-within-a-store, with dedicated floor space and signs and shelves designed by a brand, have been a popular strategy for a while. 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.”
Target made the announcement in the wake of a disappointing holiday sales season. December sales at Target stores open at least a year rose just 1.6 percent. Target warned last week that its fourth quarter profits would be lower than they previously estimated.
Apple’s store-within-a-store is already in place in over 600 Best Buys and are staffed by Apple Solution consultants. Apple began selling the iPod at all Target stores in 2002, and then became the first seller of the iPad apart from Apple and Best Buy in October 2010.