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The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that Target plans to triple the number of "Apple at Target" mini-shops in its stores, which will bring the chainwide total to about 150 ahead of the upcoming end-of-year holiday shopping season.

According to the story, "The shops sell Apple's consumer-electronics product lines — iPhones, Apple Watches, Apple TV devices and accessories are included, for example, but not Apple's laptop or desktop computers. They also won't feature Apple's Genius Bar, a feature of Apple's own stores where experts can help customers set up new devices or troubleshoot problems - though they will be staffed by Target tech workers trained by Apple … Target is also offering free trials of Apple Fitness+ — a service that provides free streaming fitness classes that link with the Apple Watch — to members of its Target Circle loyalty program."

The Journal notes that "the partnership follows a pattern that Target has used before, teaming up with an established brand to drive customer traffic to a particular part of its stores. Other Target store-in-store partnerships include Ulta Beauty Walt Disney Co. and Levi's."

KC's View:

A smart way, I think, for Target to differentiate itself from its direct and indirect competition … especially because we Apple customers tend to be dedicated and loyal in our Apple enthusiasms.