Apple is expanding its new 'Express' stores for the iPhone 12 launch and holiday shopping — see what's it's like to shop at one

Brittany Chang
·3 min read
Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris
  • Apple will be introducing more "Express" storefronts as the holiday shopping season approaches and the company begins distributing its new iPhone 12 models, Reuters reported.

  • Apple's new "Express" format has a wall towards the front of the store and uses plexiglass as a barrier between employees and customers. 

  • The plexiglass panels are placed in front of the sales counters and product displays.

  • Apple Express store customers need to make an appointment to pick up a product or receive customer service.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple will be unveiling new "Express" storefronts as the holiday shopping season approaches and the company begins to distribute its new iPhone 12 models, Reuters reported.

Like many retailers that have had to shift amid the coronavirus pandemic, the new "Express" format changes the classic layout of the Apple store by integrating a wall towards the storefront and using plexiglass on the sales counters to separate employees from customers.

The concept was first tested last month at the Burlingame, California location, Engadget reported. There are now around 20 Express stores in the US and Europe with plans to grow to 50 stores by the end of October, senior vice president of retail and people at Apple Deirdre O'Brien told Reuters.

Keep scrolling to see inside the stores:

See more: Now Apple wants to bulldoze the fitness app industry, even though many of these companies rely on the App Store and dutifully pay Apple its 30% cut

There are shelves between the sales counters that showcase Apple products like iPhone cases and AirPods. However, like the counters, the accessories will be behind a panel.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

Express store visitors have to make an appointment for customer service help or to pick up online orders.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

According to the Reuters report, Apple has been careful with its brick and mortar locations throughout the pandemic.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

Source: Reuters

This new layout could help the tech giant's stores stay open if coronavirus infection rates continue to rise in the US.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

It also serves as a COVID-19 friendly alternative to curbside pickup in locations where there are no curbs, such as malls, Reuters reported.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

Source: Reuters

The expansion of the Express storefront is not the only precaution Apple is taking now that the iPhone 12 has been launched and potential holiday shopping crowds are right around the corner.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

For example, instead of letting customers wait in the infamously long lines that often follow after new iPhone releases, Apple will be using an in-person reservation system that allows customers to book a visitation time and leave the lines if they become too long.

Apple Express store in Burlingame, California
The Apple Express store in Burlingame, California in September. Marci Harris

Source: Business Insider 

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