updated 10:36 pm EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
Recent addition of Apple accessories a successful experiment, says retailer
Staples will be able to purchase iPads and iPod products from office-supply retail giant Staples through its online store as early as the beginning of October, sources familiar with the matter say. The agreement, following a deal earlier this year that let Staples sell Apple accessories for iPhones, iPods and other products was successful enough to warrant the expansion. The company hopes to begin selling iPads in stores directly in early 2014.
Canadian and other non-US Staples stores have been selling iPhones, iPads, Macs and other Apple products directly for some time, but the US chain has been limited to just Apple accessories like the Smart Cover , Magic Mouse, Airport and Apple TV in its brick-and-mortar stores since April. The company will supplement its online iPad and iPod sales with in-store kiosks promoting the iPad and directing customers to buy them from Staples' website.
If the program goes well, Staples could be allowed to sell Apple hardware (starting with the iPad and iPod lines) directly in stores. According to the report, Staples must refer at least one iPad sale per week, per store, in October, rising to two per week per store in November and five per week during December before Apple will grant authorization for direct in-store iPad sales.
Success in selling iPads and iPods could lead to the US Staples stores and online site being allowed to sell Macs directly as well at some point in the future. The company has been anticipating full Apple authorization for a long time now, letting slip mock-up web pages carrying Apple TV and other items for sale back in January, and preparing training materials that suggested Staples would be carrying Mac products in March.