Last month we reported that Apple is phasing out physical software media in their stores, which was most likely for moving the software market over the the Mac App Store. Now Apple appears to be cutting games and some hardware from their retail stores in favor of space for employees to perform a personalized in-store setup service.
Apple launched the service in January and it has become increasingly popular for people who either aren't sure how to configure everything on their own or maybe just want a second pair of eyes watching to make sure everything is set up correctly. Jim Dalrymple of The Loop reports that the service is actually so successful and popular that Apple needs more retail space to accommodate everything they offer. Sources tell Dalrymple that in addition to this reorganization, Apple is expanding its retail division to bring in more people who can help set up new Macs.
Of course Apple is limited in the amount of retail space they have, so the plan was to remove what will most likely be least missed by consumers. Games and some hardware, such as printers, scanners, and hard drives soon will no longer be displayed, although the stores will keep a stock of these items if a customer requests it. Also, during the sale an Apple salesperson may recommend these products that are not on display so that merchandise is kept moving and awareness is brought to the customer that Apple stores carry everything you need for your Mac.
Accessories for iPhone, iPod, and iPad products will continue to be displayed as that represents a good chunk of Apple's revenue and would not be economically smart to remove them, especially when carrying those items is a specialty of the store. Games are also on the list to go, with 32 titles being removed, only leaving eight titles remaining at the stores. The distribution method however has changed with games and software to online-based forms with the likes of the Mac App Store and Steam.
Dalrymple's sources say that this retail change should be completed in about 80 percent of Apple's stores within the next few months.