Apple's 'Ship to Store' Expands Again, Then Goes Offline Ahead of Retail Enhancements
Last week, Apple began offering customers the option of having their online orders shipped to their local retail store for pickup, a service especially valuable for those who have difficulty receiving shipments at their home or office. The "ship to store" option initially rolled out in the company's three San Francisco stores, and quickly expanded to include all sixteen Bay Area stores before the four New York City stores jointed the program earlier this week.
Apple has been said to be taking the service full-scale as of today as part of a series of retail enhancements that will also allow customers to use self-checkout for shelf-stocked items at Apple retail stores using the company's iOS app.
Evidence of Apple making minute-by-minute tweaks to the ship to store program is visible in Apple's online store, where just a short time ago customers had the option of using the service throughout the company's 51 California and four New York City stores.
The new expanded program did not last long, however, as Apple now appears to have completely shut down the ship to store option, with all stores listing online-only items as "unavailable for pickup". Items stocked in-store can still be purchased through the system, with California and New York City stores listing those products as "available now".
Apple is said to be viewing in-store pickup and self-checkout as major changes for the future of its retail stores, expecting that the majority of its customers will utilize in-store pickup as their default delivery method for Apple purchases.