Here’s How Apple Will Take Over the World

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making an attempt to spread out to new markets overseas, but it’s also trying to tap new areas of potential within the U.S. After announcing a partnership with Target (NYSE:TGT) to set up mini stores at various locations of the retail giant earlier this year, Apple is now pulling off a similar experiment with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

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Apple is testing its partnership with Target with a store-within-a-store concept at two locations, and it has now added a similar concept store at a Walmart in Lowell, Arkansas. While Apple plans to expand to 23 more Target locations before the end of this year, it is not yet clear how many Walmart stores it has in mind for a full rollout.

Apple, which only has 250 retail locations of its own in the country, can benefit immensely from using the spread of the two retail specialists, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Walmart has over 3,800 locations in the U.S., while Target has 1,700 stores.

While such a move is expected to help Apple make a mark in far-flung, internal areas of the country, one concern has been about the quality of the service. A big contribution to the Apple brand comes from its knowledgeable sales and service employees, and training salespeople at the new locations outside of its purview will be a challenge. “The Apple micro-store was staffed by a Target employee who claimed to have received two hours of training from Apple,” said Munster, who visited one location. “Overall, the layout of the Target micro-store was more inviting compared to other Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) Apple micro-stores we have visited, in our opinion.”

Apple’s Target and Walmart locations are similar to those in Best Buy stores, but the two don’t sell any products from Apple’s Mac computer line. “We believe the Target/Apple relationship will not expand to the full Mac lineup given Target does not sell a significant line of PCs,” Munster wrote in a note to investors.

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