updated 03:30 pm EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
Spat between Apple and retailer apparently resolved
Apple and warehouse retailer Costco have apparently resolved the long-standing differences between the pair, as iTunes gift cards have recently returned to store shelves. Additionally, employees of the Wireless Advocates store-in-a-store has received notifications that the kiosks will begin stocking Aple's iPhone and iPad models as well, after more than a three-year absence in some cases.
The letter to the employees, from CEO Dan Brettler, declares that he is "extremely excited to share the news of a new partnership between Apple Inc. and Costco Wholesale. This partnership will bring a top-selling line-up of Apple products to Costco members, including the iPhone and embedded iPads. As Costco's solution for wireless devices and services, we are proud to be a part of this new partnership and incorporate Apple products into our already strong product line-up in Costco."
Brettler also states that Costco associates "already know Apple products. They are not new to our business. We currently sell Apple products in two of our three enterprise channels (Car Toys and Military). We already have a great business partnership with [Apple], and this new opportunity strengthens that relationship. They are valuable to our long-term success and growth in our space. This initiative will accelerate same-store sales through performance gains and new products and services, as well as enhance our strategic partnership with our suppliers."
The feud between Costco and Apple dates back to the iPad launch in 2010, with the chain being left off the launch list for the device. Competitors WalMart and Sam's Club, as well as Target and Best Buy, were launch partners for the tablet. Just before the holiday 2010 season, Costco removed the iPod from its shelves, with the gift cards following a year or two later, depending on venue.
No timeline has been given for the commencement of sales of Apple's hardware products, which are already available in Costco military sales venues. Gift card options are already available, having appeared in most locations over the weekend.