Apple is now going to ship its hardware products using its network of Apple Stores as de-facto fulfillment centers. To get to its customers faster, the company will now be shipping products directly from the stores, instead of sending them out directly from China or from local warehouses.
Bloomberg reported that this change will require Apple nearly all of its 300 stores in the US and Canada such that the local delivery is speeded up, at least for customers within 100 miles of the store. Reportedly, the company had already started this process with several stores earlier this year. The broader implementation is taking place now after Apple’s upcoming iPhone launch this week.
Apple started testing the program with a small number of stores after locations started re-opening from Covid-19-related closures in June and July. It has rolled out to more, but not all retail sites across the US and Canada, the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
According to Bloomberg, the customers will have no say in the store from which their devices get shipped as the shift would only be an internal one. Using retail stores to ease faster shipping and thus help customers procure new iPhones faster is a good move on Apple’s part considering the less traffic that these stores are observing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.