Apple emphasizes online sales for watch

So much for camping out in front of the Apple Store.

When the Apple Watch goes on sale later this month, Apple will encourage its loyal fans to buy the gadget online, rather than flooding stores, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.

“This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen,” Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s retail chief, wrote in the message to Apple Store employees.

Seven months after customers stormed Apple Stores across the Bay Area to get their hands on the iPhone 6, the memo suggests that Apple is envisioning a somewhat different debut for its first wearable.

Although camping out on the eve of a product launch has become something of a ritual for Apple fans, the long lines can take a toll, Craig Johnson of Customer Growth Partners told SiliconBeat. The crush of fans can trip up customers who come to the store to buy other gadgets or to meet with a genius bar staffer, he noted. What’s more, it’s always challenging to have the right amount of product in stock in stores — a problem that’s magnified for a gadget like the watch, which comes in two sizes and three collections, with an array of interchangeable bands.

“Apple can better match supply and demand online,” Johnson said.

An Apple spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

The Apple Watch is available for pre-order on April 10, with gadgets shipping on April 24.

Above: Apple has a different sales plan in mind for the Apple Watch (Getty Images).

 

 

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