(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. is starting to use its network of retail stores as distribution centers for shipping products to consumers, joining a trend popularized by other retailers.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has typically shipped devices like iPhones, Macs, iPads, and accessories from warehouses located across a customer’s region or directly from China. Now items that are in stock can be shipped directly to consumers from a network of almost 300 retail stores spread across the U.S. and Canada, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple told staff the shift will mean faster delivery times for customers who live further from distribution centers than from stores, according to the people who asked not to be identified discussing internal policies. The products will be shipped through United Parcel Service Inc. in Canada and FedEx Corp. in the U.S. via ground shipping and may be delivered as early as the day after a customer’s order, Apple told its staff. The program will apply to customers who live within 100 miles from a store, the people said.