Apple is preparing to take some pages out of the traditional jewelry store playbook. For the upcoming 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, Apple is planning several new features for its retail stores to support the device. As we reported several months ago, Apple is planning on allowing customers to actually try on the watches and test out different band styles inside of stores. With the high-expected price tag of the gold watch models, Apple will also step up its security features for stores…
Apple will outfit its official retail stores with safes to house the more expensive, gold “Edition” variants of the upcoming Apple Watch, according to sources. The safes will likely be used to carry both to-be-sold inventory as well as to store demo units from the show floor overnight. The custom-designed safes will be outfitted with Apple Watch MagSafe chargers in order to keep the demo units charged up and ready to go for the next day of business. Apple has already begun installing the safes in some stores ahead of the Apple Watch’s expected release in April…
Earlier this week, 9to5‘s Jeremy Horwitz explained that the Apple Watch Edition will likely have a special sales process, due to its high price, that differentiates it from the less-expensive stainless steel and aluminum models. Sources also say that Apple is getting ready to re-organize Apple Store shelving areas to make room for Apple Watch display tables. Apple is also working on ways to allow prospective buyers to try on Apple Watches inside of the store and play around with different band material and color options.
Apple is also working on special weight scales for its retail stores to weigh the amount of gold in individual Apple Watch Edition variants. The scales will be used to weigh the amount of gold in Apple Watch Editions upon replacement or return. Apple wants to ensure that no gold is removed from the units prior to replacement/return as the gold material is worth a substantial amount of money on secondary markets. The fact that Apple is working on scales further indicates that there will be a notable amount of gold in the Watch and that the device will be pricey.
While the aluminum and glass Apple Watch Sport will start at $349, earlier reports have claimed that the Apple Watch Edition will be priced in the range of thousands of dollars. With that high price tag, combined with materials such as gold, it is important for Apple to take a page out of jewelry store mechanics and ensure that Apple Watches are safely housed prior to sale. In mid-February, Apple will begin sending a pair of Apple Store employees from many of its stores to training sessions in both Cupertino, California and Austin, Texas to learn about the Apple Watch’s functionality.
Apple Stores will also begin moving over to brand new shirts for employees on February 2nd. The new look is more elegant with collars, which matches up nicely with the fashion appeal and pricing of Apple’s upcoming watches.
Story updated Feb. 2 with more details on trying on the Watch as well as information about the gold weight scale systems.