Apple told staff the shift will mean faster delivery times for customers who live further from distribution centers than from stores, according to the people who asked not to be identified discussing internal policies. The products will be shipped through United Parcel Service Inc. in Canada and FedEx Corp. in the U.S. via ground shipping and may be delivered as early as the day after a customer’s order, Apple told its staff. The program will apply to customers who live within 100 miles from a store, the people said.
Apple initially tested the new program in a small number of location after stores begin to reopen after being shut down due to COVID19. According to sources close to Bloomberg, Apple has rolled out the new program to some, but not all retails stores in the US and Canada. For customers, they won’t be able to choose if they receive an order from their local Apple Store or not, instead, that decision will be left to Apple’s logistical team.
While some stores in the US and Canada have opened, many remain closed. The new program allows Apple to utilize stores for operational purposes and continue to sell products. Apple has also considered transforming some retail locations into fully working online support and/or sales call centers if they need to be shuttered for a prolonged period of time.
The program and style Apple is now adopting isn’t new for large retail chains. It’s a methodology popularized by grocery stores and online delivery services such as Amazon. Apple views the new move as a way to improve product margins and touted its environmental benefits to internal staff.