Our Macs? They’re in the Back Between the Toasters and PCs.
Those store-within-a-store Apple boutiques that have been appearing in Best Buys (BBY) around the country may soon start popping up in Wal-Marts as well. That’s the word from Ben Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital, who thinks the retailer hopes to add the Mac to the PC lines it peddles.
“We believe Wal-Mart is actively pitching Apple to carry more products,” Reitzes said in a research note this morning. “With Wal-Mart improving its retail displays, we believe that the mega-retailer could eventually earn the right to sell select Mac products without diluting Apple’s brand….Apple is very particular and exclusive with who sells its Macs and any ‘Mac experiment’ with Wal-Mart would likely start very gradually via a pilot program at first–just like Mac sales started at Best Buy….While we don’t expect an immediate impact this year and believe Apple would need to reposition its line-up first, we believe that closer ties to Wal-Mart makes sense.”
Indeed, Wal-Mart (WMT) could certainly bolster Apple’s (AAPL) distribution, particularly in areas without Apple Stores. A compelling proposition: broader access to the mass-market consumer without the infrastructure costs of a standalone boutique. And surely Apple has overcome its aversion to Wal-Mart now that the big-box retailer has been peddling its iPhones for so long.