Apple has 359 of its own retail stores globally, 245 of which are in the U.S. There are some areas of the country that simply won’t support an Apple Store, though, and for at least 25 of those, the answer will be an Apple Store within a store, a Target store.
The report comes via the typically named “source familiar with Apple’s plans.” Apple currently also operates “store within a store” outlets at over 600 Best Buy locations with “Apple Shops.” Best Buy has over 1,000 total stores in the U.S.
Some of the Apple Shops are staffed by Apple Solution Consultants.
Target, meanwhile, as the second-largest discount retail chain in the U.S., behind Walmart, operates 1,752 stores in the country. While 25 is obviously a small start, there’s every reason to believe that if it proves successful it will expand to many more Target outlets.
Apple and Target go way back, to 2002, when all Target stores began selling Apple’s iconic music player, the iPod. In October of 2010, Target became the first retailer outside of Apple and Best Buy to begin selling the iPad. Just one month later, in November of 2010, the retailer announced that it would begin selling Apple’s iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 in just about half of its stores, its close to 850 locations with Target Mobile sales centers.
With Apple “stores within stores” coming, it’s possible that Target might start selling more than just iDevices, at least at the 25 retail outlets with the Apple stores. We could imagine Target adding MacBooks, iMacs, and even Airport accessories.