Is Apple Turning to Sam’s Club to Stay Fresh?

Last month, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported a blow-out earnings number for its fiscal 2012 first quarter.  Since then, shares have surged more than 13 percent from $420 to a fresh all-time high of $476.  In order to prevent its growth story from going stale, the tech giant continues to expand its product line and operations.

In addition to teaming up with publishers Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO) and McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) to provide digital textbooks on the iPad, reports are surfacing that Apple may open stores in Sam’s Clubs (NYSE:WMT) across the nation.  According to 9to5Mac, a website for Apple enthusiasts, the company is in early discussions with Sam’s Club to expand their current partnership.

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The website explains, “Apple is considering an expansion of its Apple Store-in-store program to the 47 United States retail warehouse chain.”  Apple already sells its iPhone, iPad and iPod products at Sam’s Club and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY).  However, an Apple Store-in-store deal would include a larger product display at Sam’s Club.

The report goes on to explain, “Sam’s Club and Apple are not only in early discussions for the Apple Store-in-store program, but a backup plan is also being discussed. This plan consists of Sam’s Club simply selling Apple’s Macs, but without the Apple Store features.”  Since the discussions are still in the early process of being completed, sources in the report could not comment on a time-frame for the store-in-store program.  Although, the report appears to fit into Apple’s plan to expand its presence.  In January, Target (NYSE:TGT) announced it will be testing a unique display concept with Apple products at 25 stores.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com