If you’ve ever been to a Best Buy, you’ve probably seen the little Apple-dedicated section. It stands out from the rest of the store because of its demo iPads and iPhones, backlit signage, and display tables similar to those found in Apple retail outlets. This always seemed like quite an effective sales technique – you never had to search to find Apple products. Well it looks like Apple will be rolling out this store-within-a-store to a few more of your favorite retail chains pretty soon.
Images have surfaced on Apple’s retail blog of a Walmart in Lowell, Arkansas with a similar mini Apple Store treatment. The Apple area is marked with a dark carpet, two display tables and glowing signs advertising the iPhone 4S and the new iPad. There are a handful of products on display, with more of the less popular iDevices locked away in display cases beneath the wood-topped tables. Accessories are located in normal Walmart shelving surrounding the Apple section.
If you look at it at just the right angle and squint your eyes, it almost looks like a real Apple Store! One major difference, though (ya know, besides the fact that one is a building devoted to Apple products and the other is a carpet), is security. Because of the fact that Walmart doesn’t have security guards to watch over the gadgets, the Apple section is said to have higher security than even Apple retail stores!
Walmart isn’t the only store getting the Apple treatment, however. Target is also supposed to be equipped with these Apple Storettes beginning later this year. And, in the UK, Harrods of London just opened its very own “Apple Shop.”
This may just be a result of years of iBrainwashing, but I don’t feel entirely comfortable buying Apple gadgets in stores that aren’t Apple Stores. Perhaps it’s because Walmart and Target and such aren’t dedicated to the products like Apple stores, but I always prefer to do my Apple shopping in Apple stores alone. I feel the same way about purchasing an iPhone in a carrier’s retail store instead of Apple’s. Am I alone here, or do you guys feel the same way?