Apple is expanding a new retail experience in order to meet customer demands throughout the holiday season. As the launch of the iPhone 12 hits in many regions still greatly impacted by COVID-19, Apple is rolling out an ‘Express’ format.
In a report from Yahoo Finance, Apple is shifting towards the Express retail experience and expanding on it as the holiday season approaches. The Express format revolves around Apple Stores building a wall in front of the main store with plexiglass protecting sales counters. Retail employees will have access to hot ticket devices and accessories. In order to purchase items, customers will have to make an appointment to pick up items or speak to technicians.
The Express format is being rolled out primarily in the US and Europe where COVID-19 cases continue to spike. Across the two markets, 20 Apple Stores have already adapted the Express model. However, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people Deirdre O’Brien has said the company is hoping to expand that to a total of 50 by the end of October.
O’Brien believes the Express format will assist customers in acquiring the products they are looking to purchase in markets that are already struggling to provide retail experiences. Apple has been consulting health experts and taking a pragmatic approach to re-opening retail locations throughout the year. As many retail locations continue to provide curbside service, many Apple Stores are unable to do so as they are located in shopping centres, away from curbs.
Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi believes the Express model is likely to work well for the iPhone 12 launch this month and into November. While some may be put off with not having the option to have a hands-on demo with the device before purchase, Milanesi believes “people who are buying this early in the cycle, they know what they are buying.”
Gene Munster, an Apple analyst at Loup Ventures, has said that Apple may only see a five percent decrease in iPhone sales during the launch due to the retail experience.