It has been in a series of small steps, but the Apple (News - Alert) Watch is slowly becoming more accessible to buyers. Originally, when the Watch debuted in April, customers could only purchase it online through Apple. Last month, Apple began to also stock and sell the product in its retail stores. Now, for the first time, the Apple Watch is coming to a retailer not directly affiliated with Apple.
Beginning in August, the Apple Watch will be carried in over 100 Best Buy (News - Alert) locations nationwide, with that number expected to triple to over 300 by November and the holiday shopping season. This expansion is vital according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said he sees the Watch as “one of the key, top holiday gifts, and [Apple] wants it in more places than we currently have it.” It is reported that Best Buy will carry nearly all the iterations of the watch: the Apple Watch Sport and regular Apple Watch, as well as various straps, casings, and other accessories.
The original lack of presence in retail outlets for the Apple Watch represented a departure from previous releases of Apple products. The releases of new iPods, iPhones, and iPads are traditionally met with news footage of lines snaking several times around the block, as Apple junkies camp out the night before to be one of the first to grasp the new technology. However, Apple reported that they did not elect to follow this route this time because they received an overwhelming number of online orders, much more than they expected, and they simply did not have the inventory to furnish those orders and launch a retail campaign. Wanting to give priority to those who ordered online, Apple elected to hold off on stocking retail stores with the Watch until now.
While Apple undoubtedly did miss out on some of the rush that comes with a strong initial retail presence, having them widely stocked in Best Buys across the nation will definitely provide a boost to sales. Jason Bonfig, senior category officer at Best Buy, summarizes it nicely: “We are excited to bring the Apple Watch to more customers, especially with the holidays coming up.” With more customers being able to purchase the Watch as demand rises during the holiday, this is clearly a timely move by Apple.
Want to learn more about the Apple Watch and other wearable technologies? Make sure to check out our upcoming Wearable Tech Expo in Las Vegas August 18-20!
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