Apple recently began using its huge Apple Store store chain as a node in its product distribution network, enabling it to receive goods faster than 10,000 shipments from China. The strategy is markedly different from Apple’s standard operating procedures, and so far the tech giant has placed online orders through regional distribution centers or directly from Chinese manufacturers.
Products such as iPhones, iPads and Macs will be shipped directly to buyers from a network of nearly 300 retail stores across North America, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the company’s new shipping process. Apple told employees that direct shipping from the Apple Store would translate into faster delivery times.
The program uses FedEx in the U.S. and UPS in Canada to ship inventory to customers living within a 100-mile radius, reducing the delivery window to one day.
Apple began piloting a new delivery process at a handful of stores that reopened in June and July because of coronavirus closures. Reported that in the past few months to add a number of shipping locations, although not all outlets have participated in the project.
In addition to faster transport speeds, the move also eases the burden on overseas supply chains. The company typically ships equipment directly from the factory to the customer’s doorstep, but the new approach may further save time and money.
In addition, the plan would keep the Apple Store running during the coronavirus blockade. Apple has discussed turning some stores into online support or sales call centers – as seen in selected locations – if and when they are required to close due to national or regional restrictions, the report said.