∞ Apple to cut 32 games, some hardware from retail stores

Apple is in the process of cutting software titles and some hardware peripherals from its retails stores to make room for other services.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]Sources that I’ve spoken with said Apple is going to expand its personalized in-store setup service for customers that purchase a Mac. With that service, launched in January, an Apple store employee will sit down with the customer and setup email accounts, an iTunes account and walk the customer through the Mac experience.

Due to the popularity of the personalized service, Apple is expanding it and will need to make more room for employees to work with customers.

In some stores new employees are being hired to handle the setup, while in other stores the employee that made the sale will be the one to do the setup. Whether new people are hired or not depends on the individual store.

Clearly, taking product away from the iPhone, iPod and iPad sections is not an option. Those products are some of the company’s top selling units. Apple certainly wouldn’t remove any Macs from their retail space, so that leaves third-party Mac products.

Among the products that will no longer be displayed in the retail stores are printers, scanners and possibly some hard drives. These peripherals will still be stocked in the store and available if a customer requests them.

At the point of sale, the Apple salesperson will still recommend the customer purchase one of those peripherals if they feel it fits in with the customer’s purchase.

According to my sources, Apple is also getting rid of up to 32 game titles from its retail locations. That would reduce the number of games being displayed in the stores to around 8 per store.

Games are not the best selling software titles, so they were the first to get cut when the company was looking for additional retail space. The game titles being removed will not be stocked in the stores and retail employees will tell customers to visit the Mac App Store if they wish to purchase a title that is no longer being carried.

This could be the first move where Apple would recommend that customers from its retail locations take advantage of its online App Store. There have been success stories already for the Mac App Store, like Pixelmator grossing $1 million in the first 20 days it was open, but it’s unclear if software makers will do as well online as they have in retail stores.

The personalized setup service is yet another way that Apple is setting itself apart from its competition. While we don’t know the extent that things like Microsoft retail may affect Apple stores, it is important that Apple stay ahead.

It’s thought that about 80 percent of Apple’s retail locations will offer the personalized service and go through the hardware and software product changes in the next few months, if it hasn’t started already.

  • I’ll be interested to see how this changes the look of a typical Apple store, once shelving and displays are converted to more working space.

    • You lucky people with all your Apple Stores 🙁

      There are only three in Germany to date.

      But yeah, this’ll make the stores look different and I think Jim is spot-on saying that Apple employees will direct customers to the AppStore during the initial setup.

      Their schtick of selling an experience is going to become even harder to mimic by competitors and they’re going to increase the number of credit cards registered with Apple.

  • Anonymous

    Wow this makes al ot of sense when you think about it.


  • Anonymous

    Sorry but I don’t buy this logic. Most of those items are on shelving on the walls anyway. Unlikely to provide any room for anything.

    More likely they are dumping the stuff cause it’s not selling.

    • My area store has a tiny shelfed software section (certainly fewer than 32 games already), but it was area where you could linger (waiting to jump on a bar stool, or waiting while a sales guy checked in the back for something you wanted to buy) — everywhere else foot traffic is too busy: the genius bar area, checkout, training, etc… or the gear itself are crowded messes. Even if things are on walls, they take floor space. you can’t have a desk for one-on-one setup where some dude may have bent down on one knee to read the back of game box for system reqs. Wall space does equal floor space to a fair measure. Just consider your average aisle in Target or WalMart: you don’t think they haven’t thought about an extra row or two of goods?

  • Anonymous

    This is one reason the PC is 80% of the market. Home users love their games, and Apple is NOT a gaming machine.

  • About half the reason for Window’s dominance is its enormous bulk sales to business, not consumers. Plus, everyone who’s ever worked in an office is trained to use Windows.

    Apple sells services in those stores. They work pretty seamlessly between the web store and the brick neighborhood store. Many points of sale. I’ve seen the One on One things, and it’s very clever. Very useful to people, and of course a selling point. They’ve always had a crappy selection of third-party accessories, and programs and games. You can buy those things anywhere. The Apple price on them is always high, so why keep them stocked?

    You buy a Mac. The Apple store friend says, do you want a printer? Maybe there’s a $100 offer for a fax machine/copier/photo printer, etc. He goes back and gets it. That’s important. Having a hard copy of some game or app, or 10,000 of them on hand isn’t. You can get that stuff on Amazon, much cheaper, or online generally. The store sells Apple and services for Apple users.