Apple "mini-stores" confirmed by Target

After rumors last week that Target would open store-within-a-store displays featuring Apple products, the United States' second-largest retail chain has confirmed those rumors in a presentation in New York on Thursday, as reported by The New York Times.

The rumor, originally reported by AppleInsider, was spot-on in its prediction that 25 Target locations would benefit from the expanded displays. The rumor said that the mini-stores would be operated in locations of the United States which can't support a standalone Apple Store.

Target already sells a limited range of Apple products including iPads and iPods, but it does not currently sell Apple Macintosh computers or laptops. Dustee Jenkins, a Target spokeswoman, declined to comment to the Times on whether the Apple mini-stores would include such products. Ms. Jenkins also declined to describe how the merchandise would be arranged or whether they would implement product displays like the ones seen in official Apple retail stores.

Best Buy already hosts Apple mini-stores in some of its locations. Expanding to Target is an obvious move to expand the accessibility of the Apple brand to more shoppers who might not necessarily be shopping for electronics.

The New York Times notes that this announcement comes after disappointing holiday sales figures for Target. December sales at Target stores rose a paltry 1.6 percent, well short of the 3.1 percent expected by analysts.

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