Apple is trying out a new retail store experience that puts express pickup of online orders and Genius Bar appointments front and center, while keeping customer and staff safety paramount during the ongoing global health crisis.
Dubbed “Apple Express,” the temporary retail format for brick-and-mortar stores is being trialed at Apple Burlingame in California. The location has an interior storefront hub with a partition at the entrance that includes serving counters with perspex window shielding, central display cases with popular accessories for purchase, and a surrounding wall that screens off the shop floor proper.
Black spots on the floor in front of the temporary facade indicate where visiting customers should stand in order to observe social distancing measures. Based on the pictures, the system allows one customer at a time to come up to each serving window, while customers with pre-booked appointments can queue up outside.
Customers are required to have their appointment-assigned QR code and government-issued ID ready as they wait for the next available Apple representative, while another sign displays QR codes that link to Apple’s support app and official website.
It’s not clear if Apple plans to expand the “Apple Express” retail system shown here to other stores within California or to other U.S. states, but if the trial proves successful we could well see it rolled out across the country as the U.S. continues to grapple with the pandemic.