Walk In And Buy An Apple Watch? That Ain't Happenin' Anytime Soon
The countdown to the Apple Watch is growing ever louder with the lead up to April 10, the date on which online pre-sales for the device begin. With that heightening of the drone...er, buzz comes greater clarity on precisely how Apple is planning to sell their latest must-have device. This window into the process is in the form of a leaked internal Apple training document, which among its tidbits specifically states that the company will not be selling their shiny wrist ornaments to walk-in customers at product launch.
As noted last week, beginning on April 10 prospective customers can arrange online for hands-on "try-on" appointments at Apple retail stores, where they will be afforded 15 minutes* with a specially-trained Apple employee (30-60 minutes in the case of those with enough coin and moxy to want to check out the 18 karat gold Apple Watch Edition) whose job is to help them realize their vision as an Apple Watch wearer and decide which configuration of the device and band they want to shell out for. Then, with the purchase decision made, the customer will be invited to pre-order online or make a "Product Reservation" to hold their choice at a Apple store for pick-up once the Apple Watch is officially launched on April 24.
Regarding walk-in customers, Apple employees are being told to treat the Apple Watch at the start as if there will be no walk-in stock, and thus are being instructed to offer the more impulsive Apple Watch shopper the option to try on the device and to then help them place their order either online or via the Apple Store app for later pickup.
Whether Apple is staring at low initial inventory for the Apple Watch or are simply scheming to juice demand for their wearable, it is apparent that anyone looking for point-of-purchase satisfaction in the form of an Apple Watch will need to cool their wallets until the introductory hype for the device has played out.
* Business Insider is reporting today that those with Apple Watch "try-on" appointments will be limited to trying on a single band, with the company stating they "will not size links or swap bands" at its try-on tables around the store.