Apple Expands Express Store Concept

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In an effort to get iPhone 12 models to consumers during the pandemic, Apple is expanding its Express store concept, according to Reuters

Express stores will have a wall built in front of its store with sales counters protected by plexiglass. The stores will have shelves of accessories, which could include phone cases and AirPods, according to Reuters. Customers can make an appointment to pick up items or meet with technicians for customer service.

Right now, Apple has about 20 Express stores in the United States and Europe. It plans to expand to 50 across the two regions by the end of the month, Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail and people at Apple, told the news service.

Smaller Format Stores Gain Momentum 

Apple isn’t alone in testing smaller format stores. 

In the company’s Q2 2020 earning’s call, Macy’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said the company will open several smaller format off-mall Macy’s and will test a smaller format off-mall Bloomingdale’s. Earlier in the year, he shared that every off-mall Macy’s store would have pick up and returns. 

In March, Target reported that small-format stores contributed more than $1 billion in total sales in 2019. The small format strategy was working so well for the retailer that it also announced that it was exploring sites for stores that are approximately 6,000 square feet, which is roughly half the size of its smallest small-format store. Those stores would help the retailer reach “even more guests in urban neighborhoods and on college campuses.” 

Additionally, arts and crafts retailer Michaels launched new test-and-learn store concepts at two locations in Texas to enhance the retail experience. The new concept will create an immersive experience for customers with several new formats, including trend hubs to display niche items, like seasonal merchandise, fine art and custom framing, and maker spaces, a dedicated area for in-store classes and instructor-led projects.

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