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Walmart to create Apple sections in retail stores

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Tue May 19, 2009

Walmart Apple sections

Walmart is incorporating Apple sections into its stores as part of a major revamping program, notes Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes. The low-end retailer is significantly expanding its electronics departments, with the aim of filling the gap left in TV sales after the bankruptcy of Circuit City. Within these areas will be sections devoted to some of the most powerful brands, including those outside of TVs such as Apple and Nintendo.

Some 3,500 Walmart stores are gaining the new electronics departments, described as being more spacious and interactive. Reitzes notes that while Walmart stores currently carry only iPhone and iPod gear, the company may be angling to carry a limited number of Macs and Mac accessories; such a move would also benefit Apple, which has less than 10,000 worldwide retail venues for selling its computers. Many Walmarts are also located in rural areas, which can be far removed from Apple Stores or Mac resellers.

The obstacle is thought to be Walmart's normal demographic, which does not typically buy high-end computers. The retailer could however carry sub-$1,000 Macs such as the Mini or the MacBook, and still cheaper devices such as a rumored media pad. Any attempt at selling Macs in Walmart would likely begin with a pilot project, says Reitzes, perhaps involving a limited number of machines.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    cool

    I would never in a million years actually shop at Wal-Mart, but lots of people do and if we can get them interested in Apple products, works for me.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    it could also

    go a long ways towards erasing the perception that Apple products are only for cool, hip, artistic, affluent, geeky people. I don't want Apple to be a niche player. I want Apple to have it all. The artistic types, as well as Joe 6 Pack.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Wallyworld

    My prediction is that they'll probably only sell iMacs and Macbooks; Pro models will be special order.

    I have absolutely nothing against WalMart or WalMart shoppers, and I see this purely as an opportunity for Apple for increase its install base.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Snotnosers

    I shop at Wal-Mart about once a week to take a break from snotty people and save some money on my necessary purchases. There are actually a lot of decent people who shop at Wal-Mart and apparently it scares away non-thinking statists. It would do more good than harm to carry all but the pro stuff.

    The closest Best Buy is 16 miles away and the closest Apple Store is 25 miles away. Some local Best Buys are out of stock on Mac minis. Wal-Mart is 2 miles away and for those who just want to go OUT and buy something it would be much easier to send them to Wal-Mart.

  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    One thing

    I have concern about is 'pilot projects' involving a 'limited number of machines' thing. I've seen it in other stores - they put one or two machines in, then no one maintains them and they are crashed or off and unstartable, damaged, and no one in the whole store knows a thing about macs. So, you can't use them, see how they work, ask any questions, or learn anything about them. Then, when they don't sell any, well look at that, no one that shops there wants them, so we won't carry them. Pilot failed.

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    Oh My

    Open the box before you leave the store to make sure the computer is in there.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    They need to stop

    equating "value" with "cheap." You can still get value even if you pay more for an item. Getting the benefit of better quality, customer service or just getting enjoyment out of using a product is certainly worth something in terms of value.

    I shop in places such as Wal-Mart and Target, but I still buy Mac computers and I don't consider myself slumming. In malls, I didn't think there was a such a big gap in money range of who shops in different stores. I see shoppers that come out of other bargain-type stores and look around in the Apple Store. Maybe they don't buy Mac Pros, but there's still a lot of stuff they could afford.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Huh?

    "go a long ways towards erasing the perception that Apple products are only for cool, hip, artistic, affluent, geeky people."

    You mean the perception that Apple has spent millions upon millions of dollars creating? Doesn't make much sense.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Walmart is the devil

    I used to go to Walmart because I like a value, but you know, a true value. The 3 Gallon jug of detergent is not a value. It looks like a value to those who equate large and heavy with MUST BE WORTH A LOT. But frankly, I'll buy the concentrate.

    Walmart has marketing to their target demographic down to an art form, but in actuality its not a value to buy a chinese hammer that falls apart the next day.

    I'll go somewhere and buy quality, I'll determine value not by volume but by efficiency.

  1. jay3ld

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    So...

    ...if I am supposed to save money at walmart, does this mean those Apple products will be cheaper from Walmart than Apple?

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