When it comes to design, there are probably no two brands as beloved by America as Apple and Target. And now, the two companies are teaming up for a new initiative: Tiny Apple stores inside Targets.
The two companies spent months designing the new, dedicated Apple area, which is currently installed in 17 Target stores nationwide, with more set to launch over the course of 2021 “and beyond,” according to the press release. The space is comprised of a wooden, under-lit table topped with Apple products (somewhat like the product presentation inside an official Apple Store), backed by two cases full of Apple Watches and other accessories. Overhead, a trio of halo light fixtures adds additional atmosphere—these halos appear to be used in other specialized areas of Target’s stores.
The employees manning this kiosk will receive special training from Apple so that they have product expertise. However, these employees don’t appear to be able to offer any sort of technical support like Apple’s more specialized Genius Bar.
A Target spokesperson declined to share the financial agreement behind this arrangement. However, it’s not the first time that Target has created a specialized area in its stores for big brands. Disney now has its own space at 50 stores, following a launch in 2019, and Ulta Beauty will have a section curating a new collection of products starting later this year.
Such installations have been part of Target’s retail store road map for some time, as the company redesigned its stores in 2017 to create a more browsable experience—which created a major boost in foot traffic for the stores. (Take a visit to Target’s secret test store here.) As COVID-19 slowly comes under control, it seems that Target plans to double down on its recipe for retail success. Meanwhile, Walmart’s new store design is betting on the opposite—that browsing is dead.
In any case, the most important part of this new Target/Apple partnership may actually not be physical but digital. Because not only is Apple getting its own installation in Target’s stores; it’s getting a special Apple section on Target’s website and app too.