Apple Expanding 'Express' Retail Store Setup That Offers Safer Purchase Options

Apple is planning to expand a new "Express" store format that will make it easier and safer for customers to purchase new Apple devices, including the iPhone 12 lineup, reports Reuters.

2express pickup apple burlingame

Image via PopVox co-founder and CEO Marci Harris on Twitter

The Express store format features a wall built around the front of the main Apple Store with temporary sales counters that are protected by plexiglass, similar to a bank. There are shelves of accessories behind store employees, and customers can pick up items at stores after ordering online, or talk with Apple's staff for help.

Apple has been using curbside pickup in some areas where there are serious coronavirus outbreaks, but Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien told Reuters that curbside pickup doesn't work well in shopping malls and downtown shopping centers where the "curb" is far from the store location.

For these situations, the Express format is preferred. Apple has been testing it at 20 stores in the United States and Europe, and is expanding it to 50 by the end of the month.

"It's a swifter way for us to serve customers," O'Brien said. "It allows us to maintain all the appropriate social distancing and maintain all of our health protocols within our stores."

There's no specific list on Apple's site with stores that have the Express setup, but one of the first stores to get the new setup was Apple Burlingame in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Throughout the pandemic, Apple has been closing and reopening stores as needed when cases in a particular area spike. Apple stores that are reopened have cleaning and social distancing policies in place and require customers to wear masks and get a temperature check before entering the store.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Top Rated Comments

smithrh Avatar
14 weeks ago
About time - virus or no virus, if you knew what you wanted to buy, the physical Apple store experience was terrible.

Find the guy that was arranging for employees to help customers

Tell him what you needed

Get assigned to someone, wait

Talk to that person, and likely have to put up with someone who knows less than you do

They get someone to bring the item you want to you

You buy it

This will hopefully shortcut that lousy experience.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mcdawg Avatar
14 weeks ago
The photo makes this look like some schlocky airport kiosk selling Bose headphones and overpriced phone chargers.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mcdawg Avatar
14 weeks ago
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
glsillygili Avatar
14 weeks ago


you do know for years...you can open the apple store app..scan the product...pay with a credit card attached to iTunes...and walk out. you didnt even need to talk to anyone. now in the covid era thats not possible..but pre-covid...if you knew what u wanted and it was on the shelf..you could self checkout.

What shelves? Mostly everything on Apples shelves now are for show. The only thing have now are their first party cases.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
14 weeks ago
This is our future, unfortunately. Not bad though really.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsplusmacs Avatar
14 weeks ago
Cool.

I hate tracking down employees to check me out.

Yah I know there is that other option but sometimes it does not work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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