Will Apple take root in Walmart?

“In Apple stores, shoppers are encouraged to touch and sample products, and traditional cash registers and lines don’t exist,” Rachelle Dragani reports for MacNewsWorld. “Retail experience and customer service are paramount. That experience is part of Apple’s broader strategy of increasing brand loyalty, Leslie Hand, research director at IDC Retail Insights, told MacNewsWorld. ‘Apple has incredible sales per square foot in its stores because of the combination of products and service,’ she said.”

“But while Apple is increasing its retail presence, many less populated areas still don’t have an Apple store,” Dragani reports. “So the company is branching out to other retailers to drive more mainstream sales. Walmart and Target (NYSE: TGT) are two of the major retailers offering expanded lines of Apple products in addition to their regular electronic lineup. Both stores are hoping that with more iPods, iPhones and iPads, overall traffic and sales will increase as well, according to a report this week from The Wall Street Journal.”

Dragani reports, “Increased sales could be a winning situation for Apple too, but an iPad sale in a Walmart might not generate the same brand loyalty that it would in an Apple store, said Hand.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should set up a webpage and create an app that allows Apple product fans and AAPL shareholders to easily report on the performance of Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc. regarding Apple stores-within-stores. If we had something like that back in the Sears days (dusty, powerless Macs with no mouse), perhaps things wouldn’t have gotten so bad. Use us, Apple! All of us can easily and more efficiently keep a collective eye on things and make sure these third-party retailers aren’t damaging the Apple brand via their innate lower standards.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Carl H.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analyst expects Apple to expand store-within-store presence at Walmart, Target – May 3, 2012
New Apple store-within-a-store displays appear inside Walmart – April 16, 2012
Apple store-within-a-store outlets coming to Target this year, sources say – January 6, 2012

33 Comments

    1. Theoretically, yes, but if you have to drive 500 miles to your nearest Apple Store, then it becomes a little unrealistic in practice.

      If Walmart & Target can reach more people in more isolated areas, then why not allow those people to touch and feel a truly superior experience?

      1. A trip to our nearest Apple store would take 3 hours and $250 in airfare over open ocean. I like the combination of seeing the product in person and then ordering the configuration I desire from the Internet. More choice is good. What does Walmart and Apple have in common? “Made in China”!

      1. Yeah and don’t like that this:
        “Notify me of follow-up comments via email”
        is now on by default and you have to switch it off before getting an annoying confirmation e-mail. PLEASE leave it OFF or unchecked by default. It’s more logical people will turn it on if they want to hear responses to posted comments.

        1. Yes, it is easily configured, but MDN likely likes it set to on.
          That way when the political troll wars start they can get more add impressions, their real bread and butter..

  1. The old/current display at our Walmart has the iPad ‘under glass’, and not in a fancy way. I’m not quite sure how they would make them available without someone standing by full time (like they kind of are at a Best Buy). They almost do that with the camera rack (the photo person is around almost all of the time) and most of the cameras are in pretty bad shape. Those darn consumers.

    1. It’s funny I don’t think people are nearly as rough on the merchandise at Apple Stores as much as a Walmart or Target. Higher class of consumer that’s more respectful go to Apple Stores. A lot of pigs go to the bottom of the barrel houses of consumption.

    1. half of those pics are staged, you know that right?.. I know my nieces friends have posted a few pics on the site that they staged for senior pranks.

      And it’s rare to see people that screwed up in this world actually shopping.
      Also depends on the location. I have never seen.. Take that back.. The only people at Walmart I have seen that remotely resemble the people of Walmart are the 500lb ladies wearing spandex.

      I love how people run down Walmart for only selling crap made in china. Funny… Pepsi is bottled locally and sales for almost half of what the grocery stores sell it for..
      Walmart/target sell many of the same brands, Walmarts cheaper.. It’s not cause Walmart has the Chinese M&M’s and target sales the M&M’s from jersey..

  2. I’m not sure that Apple needs to, or should, chase down the type of customers who frequent Walmart.
    I’m not familiar with rural USA and access to Apple products, but if I was Apple marketing, I’d be very careful about who (which retailers) Apple products are associated with.
    We are judged by the company we keep.

    1. I live in rural Upstate NY. The WalMarts within 1/2 hour. Nearest Apple Store is 1 1/4 hours away, which is actually pretty good compared to even upscale college towns like Ithaca, home of Ivy League Cornell University.

      Although, one of those WalMarts was still displaying iPad 2s about 1 1/2 months after the new iPad was introduced.

      All reasons why my Apple shopping is delivered.

    2. I see no reason why Apple should let geography make the iPad harder for some people to obtain. The iPad isn’t some product just for elites. You don’t have to be super rich to afford it. You don’t have to be super smart to learn how to make use of it. In addition to many things, the iPad is also a computer for the masses.

  3. I’d like to be one of the first ones to place a report. A few months back at my local Sams Club warehouse (one of the largest in the country) an iPad 2 was jail broken and was almost unusable with some expiration with Cydia install. Told mgr. checked back a few weeks later was still on it. Now the iPad display is empty awaiting the newer iPad.

  4. I was at a Sam’s Club a few weeks back. When I walked by the phone displays I got a huge smile. There were lots of models on display, including the three iPhone models and what seemed like dozens of Android options. All of the Android phones were cheap plastic fakes, and e ONLY working phones were the iPhones on the end of the shelf. So funny!! I’m sure that’s one of Apple’s requirements for having them to sell: that the iPhones are functioning beauty!

  5. I agree with MDN’s take. For a long time I’ve wished there was some easy way to notify Apple of the all-too-often poor state of Apple products and displays in non-Apple stores.
    Are ya listening Apple? We want and need some easy way to report Apple abuse to the Mothership!

  6. Apple has been in WalMart in Canada for over two years. The iPads are in a plexiglass case running a closed circuit movie of iPad capabilities. The iPods and iPhones are also in a protected case.

    You can get to touch things because the electronics section is staffed at all times with slightly trained $10/hr weenies.

    1. The electronics department at the local China Shop (Wal-Mart) has people standing around bullshitting who inform patrons that they do not have the keys to the cases where stuff is locked or some other nonsense.

  7. Wal-Mart is about the scuzziest thing going in Amerika these days. Nothing like a company that underpays it’s employees but shows them how to file for public assistance even as they fund Republican candidates trying to eliminate public programs. They are also notorious for firing people who have enough seniority to be worthy of a raise.

    They are also such generous citizens of the communities in which they live, giving almost nothing to local NGO and charities after wiping out numerous local businesses that supported such things. Add to that the fact they demand tax abatements in order to site a store in your community.

    Finally, they squeeze the life out of suppliers and have bankrupted a few over time. Think Cannon Mills and Rubbermaid.

    Added up.
    1- They pay little to no local taxes, pay poverty wages and cause an increase in the numbers of employed people needing public assistance.
    2- They wipe out local businesses and contribute almost nothing to the fabric of a local community. (Think Boys & Girls Club, Little League, etc.)
    3- They turn over all but managerial workers regularly in order to keep wages low.
    4- They destroy local businesses with predatory prices in small towns and then jack up the prices- just like the old Standard Oil Trust.
    5- They are notoriously destructive to small and mid sized suppliers. Only the very largest can evade the testicular crunch from Bentonville.

    Why would anyone want to be associated with something like that?

    1. A good read not he subject is a book called “Nickel and Dimed: on (NOT) getting by in America” By Barbara Ehrenreich.

      She goes out and tries to live on a Wal Mart job (and others) Dispels many propaganda myths perpetrated by the right. It is an eye opener.

      Should be required reading for anyone opposed to “welfare”.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed

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