• Target is bringing an expanded Apple Store experience to Target stores, which includes doubling Apple’s space and adding new products and aesthetics.
  • Target says it worked with Apple on the design of the new Apple experience inside Target, which also extends to the Target website as well as the Target mobile app.
  • Many Apple stores themselves still remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What a difference a year and a global pandemic make. Around this time last year, the Apple Store closest to my apartment tended to stay insanely busy, with long wait times for appointments if you needed something like a repair and so many people milling around the floor and gawking at the latest iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and more that it was often easier to just move over to the makeshift waiting area, with seating spread out in front of the huge digital screen that’s now a staple at Apple Stores.

Fast forward to 2021, and in a development I’m sure not many people saw coming, Target of all places is starting to look increasingly like a pretty acceptable Apple Store backup — a reliable alternative, in case your local Apple Store is still closed because of the coronavirus pandemic and you need an alternative destination to pick up your next piece of consumer tech from the iPhone maker. Why? Well, the obvious reason is that business is very much back to normal at most Target stores. But also because the retail chain has announced that an all-new Apple shopping experience is coming to a Target near you very soon.

Today's Top Deal Amazon shoppers are obsessed with the $30 gadget that lets you open your garage with your smartphone or voice! Price:$29.98 Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Buy Now Available from Amazon BGR may receive a commission

The details: Target says it will double Apple’s footprint in select Target stores and expand offerings from Apple both in-store and online. Per an announcement from the company, “The new shopping experience debuts online and will begin rolling out in select locations this month, with additional locations scheduled to roll out by the end of this fall.”

Target and Apple actually collaborated on the enhanced in-store Apple experience, which features new lighting fixtures and displays for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV, and other Apple accessories. This also extends to Target.com as well as the Target app, where shoppers will now find a dedicated Apple experience with a newer assortment of Apple accessories.

If you do a search for Apple within the Target mobile app, here’s the menu you’re greeted with:

Image source: Target

Why this is a solid option for an Apple customer like me is because of the limited shopping experience right now at my local Apple Store, which is following Apple’s COVID-era “Express” storefront model.

If you drive up to the store, immediately inside the door there’s a facade that’s been erected that hides the entirety of the store behind it. You have to make an appointment to pick up any online order there, where employees will interact with you through that facade. Also, Genius Support is available by appointment — while walk-in customers are unable to be accommodated right now.

This is why, again, Target stores especially with the expanded Apple setup could be a nice alternative for some people. Speaking of which, that new Apple experience will begin at these 17 Target stores, with additional locations rolling out later this year and beyond:

  • T2180    (Monticello, MN)
  • T0324    (San Jose, CA)
  • T1397    (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • T2516    (Allen, TX)
  • T1766    (Hurst, TX)
  • T1797    (Austin, TX)
  • T1032    (Irving, TX)
  • T1354    (San Antonio, TX)
  • T0687    (Gainesville, FL)
  • T1790    (Orlando, FL)
  • T1820    (Clearwater, FL)
  • T2848    (Miami, FL)
  • T1159    (North Wales, PA)
  • T2764    (Newark, DE)
  • T1266    (Woburn, MA)
  • T1532    (Nashua, NH)
  • T1915    (Latham, NY)

Today's Top Deal Amazon shoppers are obsessed with the $30 gadget that lets you open your garage with your smartphone or voice! Price:$29.98 Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Buy Now Available from Amazon BGR may receive a commission

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.