Apple will be setting up "mini-stores" at Target locations around the United States this year.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Apple will be testing out the concept at 25 Target stores. The tests have been described as “expanded displays” of Apple products by Target spokeswoman Dustee Jenkins. However, Jenkins declined to say how the products would be arranged, and if the displays would be similar to the original Apple Store aesthetic.
Apple already runs over 600 "stores within stores" at Best Buy locations across the US, according to AppleInsider. Some of those locations are staffed with Apple specialists. Best Buy has over 1,000 total stores in the United States.
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The initial test-run with Target is a relatively small effort considering Target's scope: it is the second-largest discount retail chain in the US, with 1,752 stores, AppleInsider reported.
Apple has 359 stores around the world, including 245 in US.
Target has been selling iPods since 2002, and also sells the iPad, but could move up to offering Apple's full product range, including Macs and AirPort wireless routers, with the new mini-store expansion, AppleInsider speculated. Target has yet to confirm the addition of other Mac products to their line-up of merchandise.
Target also announced another new "store within a store" initiative this week. Called The Shops at Target, the retailer plans to open small boutiques in its stores in the coming year. The first round begins in May and the pop-up stores will be featured for six weeks, the Times reported.
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These announcements come amidst low holiday sales for the retailer. Its December sales rose just 1.6 percent, the Times reported, compared with expectations of a 3.1 percent increase among analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters.