Retail chains are gearing up for the holiday shopping bonanza by stocking all the gear you’ll want to gift your loved ones (or buy for yourself). That includes the Apple Watch, which came out in April but is only now starting to pop up on store shelves. Target is the latest to start selling Apple’s smartwatch, beginning Oct. 18 online and Oct. 25 in-store.
The retailer will carry both 38mm and 42mm versions of the Sport and stainless steel models in various colors, including rose gold. Altogether, Target will stock about 20 watch options, though only some will be available in its 1,800 stores. The company will sell all 20 models online.
Target said Friday that the watch is “expected to be one of the season’s hottest gift items,” echoing Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly’s sentiments in August when he said the chain will carry Apple Watch in all of its stores this fall.
Joly said demand for the watch has been strong both in stores and online, and Target is hoping to get a piece of that action in time for the holidays. Sprint and T-Mobile are also selling the watch as an accessory to the new iPhones.
Target also just rolled out a new price-matching policy this week, so if a competing retailer starts offering discounts on the Apple Watch in-store or online as part of a holiday promotion, the company will match that lower price. (That policy also includes membership clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco.)
Why this matters: We still don’t know exactly how many watches Apple has sold and third-party estimates vary wildly, but expanding availability of the watch will only boost its sales. When Apple released the watch in April, it was only available online, which may have discouraged interested iPhone users from buying one. Apple reports its earnings at the end of this month, so we might get some official numbers then, though we’ll have to wait until January for any indication of holiday sales success.
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