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How about Apple mini ‘mom and pop’ retail stores?

This will never happen, but I’m going to toss out the idea anyway: Apple should open small retail stores — Apple mini stores, if you will — in towns that are too small for the traditional, bigger Apple retail stores and Mac Specialists.

For example, take my hometown of Huntingdon, Tennessee, which has a population of around 4,000. It’s way too small for a current model Apple retail store. However, what if there was a much smaller “mom and pop” operation that had every model of Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, etc., to test drive, but which carried only a limited amount of stock on hand?

The Apple mini retail would serve as a showcase for Apple. Folks could come in and get a hands-on experience with our favorite tech company’s products. For items that weren’t in stock, consumers could order them, and the Apple mini store operators would get a cut of the sales.

This will never happen for a variety of reasons. Mainly, Apple wants total control over the retail store experience and a plethora of “mini” stores would be hard, if not impossible, to “police.” Also, the business model I’ve suggested might not be feasible (even though Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the purpose of the stores isn’t primarily to sell Apple products, but to serve customers and to serve as the “face” of Apple.

In my home town, and many others like it, you can buy iDevices at Wal-Mart. However, you have to drive 30 miles to a bigger town to try and buy a Mac. 

The other solution: an Apple-store-within-a-store at Walmarts,which are everywhere. Based on the customer experience of the giant retail chain — and the detrimental effect it’s had on some small towns — I’m not sure that’s the route that Apple wants to take.

Perhaps if a mini store doesn’t appeal to Apple itself, one of the many Apple Specialists could investigate the possibility.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.