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Target doing poor job of selling the iPad?

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2010
News Categories: iPad

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Target is not doing the best job when it comes to retailing the iPad, according to a new report. IfoAppleStore reports that while the iPad is in a decent, but not great, position next to Target’s electronics point-of-sale counter—a position also occupied by Apple’s line of iPods—not a single iPad, non-working or otherwise, was available for customers to look at. No information cards or descriptions of the device’s capabilities were on display, and the iPad boxes themselves were locked behind glass doors, with no salespeople available to discuss the product or even remove one from the case. In addition, a small range of iPad accessories, including the iPad Camera Connection Kit, were on display on an end-cap adjacent to the iPad area, but once again, the products were locked down, requiring assistance for purchase. Over a half an hour span on Sunday afternoon, ifoAppleStore reports that not a single person approached iPad display; during the same hour, multiple customers approached the live display of touchable, usable iPads at a nearby Best Buy.

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Comments

1

This is news? Store that I buy my socks at do a bad job of selling high price items….

Posted by sid32 on October 6, 2010 at 7:20 AM (PDT)

2

They also have the new shuffles and nanos, but they are locked in the bottom of a display case (next/near the ipads) and are not even mentioned in the weekly ad supplement.
The older models are displayed but the new ones are hidden and if you wouldn’t search for them you would never know they are there.
I’m guessing this will change in the next few weeks, maybe even to the point like last year before Christmas when they would offer Target gift cards, in effect, putting them on sale. Last year, before leaving for China, I got a 16 gig nano for the list price, but was given a $25 gift card.

Posted by gully on October 6, 2010 at 7:46 AM (PDT)

3

not to worry, I am sure they will clear their inventory when holiday shopping starts. that’s how they used to sell wii and other items

Posted by Min on October 6, 2010 at 8:01 AM (PDT)

4

Didn’t they just start selling the things? 3 days later and they are getting a “poor” grade?

Target is not an Apple store it’s not going to be the same experience. Even if Best Buy employees are going to be more available to help, I am sure it’s not going to be the same as buying an iPad at the Apple store.

And the complaints about having them locked down: It’s a department store! They don’t want to have to replace $500 iPads because of misuse or theft. The Apple store has a limited number of items available for demo, all in a large open room on flat tables, and the actual stock of computers, phones, iPods and iPads are not available without assistance. Target has hundreds of thousands of items in narrow isles separated by walls. Even with the open area of an Apple Store, some require a dedicated security guard (I am in the DC area, there is one in the Clarendon every time I visit) I don’t think Target is going to have one just for the Apple area of their huge stores.

Buying an Apple product at a Target is much different that buying one at an Apple Store and that isn’t going to change. I don’t know how well the iPods sell, but they do seem to have them on sale a lot so I imagine someone who is familiar with them and just wants a deal doesn’t care of there is an Apple expert there to help them. Perhaps the iPad is not a good fit at the store.

Posted by Dr Love on October 6, 2010 at 8:02 AM (PDT)

5

Agreed all around - a ridiculous article by ifoAppleStore.

Target is not Apple. They are not subject to Steve Job’s vision for what the Apple Store experience should be.

And they only started selling them last week. It’s possible a demo/viewing display will yet be installed, but even if not - they’re free to resell them as they wish.

Where’s ifoAppleStore’s article about iPods on sale at Walmart? Exact same situation.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on October 6, 2010 at 8:14 AM (PDT)

6

I I think the point of this blog, if your going to sell it, you have to sell it. Target is the Kmart of sales when it comes to high end products. I am always reluctant to go in there game/TV/Gadget dept. because it’s like sucking a thick milkshake through a coffee stirrer. lol Nothing is convenient there.

Posted by SpikedStrider on October 6, 2010 at 8:31 AM (PDT)

7

I think the point that Target generally locks down more expensive items, especially electronic equipment.  There is a disadvantage at not being able to demo the product, and Target has no staff that can answer detailed questions about the iPad.

But the larger question is whether a relatively pricey item will appeal to Target shoppers.  And since Target and Amazon have just started selling the product, it’s just too soon to tell how popular the iPad may be when offered via these outlets.

Posted by Singlestick on October 6, 2010 at 8:49 AM (PDT)

8

There is no great way of saying this, but Apple:  I’m not feeling too great about iPads being sold along with cheap milk.  Part of the Apple experience is the customer service, the visuals, etc… it even comes across on their website and follow-up services (confirmation/thank you e-mails; noticfications of shipment; updates; etc.)

I think not being picky about the point of sale (Target, really??  what’s next, Giant Tiger?), cheapens the brand.

Posted by Luc on October 6, 2010 at 9:04 AM (PDT)

9

I work at Target in Electronics, and they are doing a terrible job in stores. No displays, nobody specifically targeted to focus on selling the items (which have an 11% profit margin for the store.)

They did, however, give the iPad the full front cover of their weekly ad. Overall, though, poor implementation to sell a product that would be a huge money maker.

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM (PDT)

10

Target should def. not sell the 64gb version… they should probably sell the 16-32gb at best…

their tvs usually dont crack the 1k mark often.  Target shoppers usually are spending in the 100-700 range… for necessary items…

an ipad hasnt quit caught on to the everyday customer that doesnt already use apple products. but they will in the next 3-5 years once the tablet continues to leverage the laptops presence and functionality

Posted by maroon_tiger on October 6, 2010 at 10:15 AM (PDT)

11

@ LUC,

They sell the iphone 4 @ walmart with cheap milk, baby clothes and other TMI products… the pricepoint needs to be adjusted… if the 16gb could get a price drop to 300-350, then it would be a hot buy

nobody but rich kids/people are gonna come into target and buy a 400-700 device when it doesnt even replace a laptop 100% yet

and TARGET NEEDS A FULL DISPLAY for the ipad…(like walmart/apple store does with the iphone/etc) you’re not going to sell it from the glass case.. people arent familiar to the feel and experience of an ipad… they know what to expect from an ipod… let them sit there and play with demo apps and load a demo video showing off the core experience.

I know target really locks down their products except demo videogames, cameras and tvs, but they need to put the ipad on display…and allow people to hold it

Posted by maroon_tiger on October 6, 2010 at 10:22 AM (PDT)

12

“with no salespeople available to discuss the product or even remove one from the case.”

That’s a cheap shot, or they’re just not familiar with Target. They’ve been cutting staff for a while. There’s no way they’d have a dedicated iPad sales staff.

Everyone knows at Target, push the button, and someone comes.

Posted by AdamT on October 6, 2010 at 10:27 AM (PDT)

13

Sometimes you don’t wanna be hassled by an iEmployee and their fake smiling intentions. Sometimes, you already know what the iPad is and what it does, and you just want to pay for the box and get outta dodge. Sometimes, you don’t wanna be upsold on warranties and crap you don’t need for the iPad you are trying to get.

Sometimes you don’t need the ‘magic iVision’ and the special FX of the iWizard, you just want the product and that’s that.

That’s when I’ll go to Target and get an iPad with no necessary fanfare. That’s when it makes sense. No vision is cheapened, no hurt is done to apple fanboys’ clubhouse.

That’s when it makes sense. Different experience suits different customers. Let it roll, people. Life goes on with your iPad in hand.

Posted by VULTR3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:34 AM (PDT)

14

@ VULTR3

what about the people who arent familiar with the ipad?!

do they have to go to the apple store and fight the herd to play with it and be sold or oversold apple jargon to leave with more than they expected to buy?!

target is dead wrong for putting it under glass… people want to play with it…its not self explanatory like the ipod touch…

i agree with the apple store vultures being a bad thing.. target is def. a different culture, but REALIZE that they also have a minimal knowledge, and if a person walks by the isle with the ipad poster, and has no clue what the ipad does(that they could put to use), and nobody is around, or they’re fed bad knowledge, then you LOSE A POTENTIAL SALE… target doesnt need a dedicated apple fanboy like best buy, but they need a dedicated demo and dedicated/knowledgeable employee in the electronics dept

target couldnt possibly expect to knock this out the park in the first month… nobody but tech geeks knew it was coming to target… and its a very expensive buy for a first gen product

Posted by maroon_tiger on October 6, 2010 at 11:04 AM (PDT)

15

@ maroon_tiger

Did you not read what I wrote? I specifically made that point. I understand there are different levels of consciousness when it comes to computer products and consumers. Consumers who don’t know better, should line up to eat the pre-written catch lines at the Apple Store. It’s all good in the hood.

I’m simply saying it’s definitely not a bad thing that a knowledgeable computer consumer such as myself can just grab the technology from the locked box with no hassle.

‘Dead wrong’ is just being dramatic now. Lock it up so it won’t get stolen. Come on.

Posted by VULTR3 on October 6, 2010 at 12:17 PM (PDT)

16

“target is dead wrong for putting it under glass”

That is just for security. Apple store don’t put their iPads under glass but they generally are in locked drawers, not available to just pick up and buy.

Posted by Dr Love on October 6, 2010 at 12:22 PM (PDT)

17

@the last 2 posts

i used to work at target… i know that they lock down the SELLABLE high price merchandise in cases or the other locations

im talking about them being dead wrong for not having a demo in place… how is a customer supposed to understand the experience by looking at it through a case inside a box?!

they’re dead wrong for not having a full fledged demo like wallmart/bestbuy/apple store

yeah the knowledgeable buyer will get the in-and-out convenience w/o the lip service… but the normal customer who has no idea, will probably be turned off and not informed enough to make a purchase

Posted by maroon_tiger on October 6, 2010 at 2:42 PM (PDT)

18

@ Luc - more markets have Target’s than have Apple Stores. I can walk into a Target in nearly every town and walk out with an iPad. I personally would not drive several hours just for the warm fuzzy you get from the Apple Store. I am fortunate to live in an area with several Apple Stores. And, price being the same, would choose to buy straight from Apple. But I would certainly choose Target if it was a choice between walking out of a store with one today as opposed to placing an on-line order from Apple and waiting a week or more to enjoy my purchase. An iPad is an iPad no matter whether you buy it from Sam’s Club, Target or directly from the trunk of Steve Jobs’ car.

But, to those many that have addressed this, I do think Target should have a demo model secured top-side for folks to touch and feel. That simple fact can sell products. If I am not really sure I would like the way it feels in my hands (and I do not have an Apple Store near by), I might walk right out of Target with my $500+ in my pocket.

Posted by Mitch on October 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM (PDT)

19

Sure not all stores will do a great job of selling them - but take it from me, who lives in a relatively small town where just a month ago you had to drive 1.5 hrs just to see an iPad… it’s progress.

Posted by Rick on October 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM (PDT)

20

I definitely agree it’s stupid not to have any sort of demo. Even a video or something that tells you about it.  It’s a great thing to be able to test it out before you think about buying it.  Just my two cents

Posted by Alx on October 6, 2010 at 9:02 PM (PDT)

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