Apple is using retail stores in the U.S. and Canada to speed up product deliveries

In a move that will probably be a welcome one for some customers, Apple has figured out a way to offer even faster delivery: its retail stores.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg is reporting today that Apple is using its physical retail stores in the United States and Canada to speed up product deliveries. In some instances, the usage of the stores actually means the company can offer next-day, and even same-day delivery in areas it previously couldn’t. To make it happen, Apple is pulling from the stock of the local store, rather than having to ship a product to the store for the customer to go pick up.

According to the report, there are more than 300 Apple stores ready to work as distribution points for Apple’s products. Apple reportedly started testing the process due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Apple started testing the program with a small number of stores after locations started re-opening from Covid-19-related closures in June and July. It has rolled out to more, but not all retail sites across the US and Canada, the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

In many instances, customers who do get something ordered and it’s shipped from the local store, it will arrive the same day. UPS and FedEx have both been partnered with for the new distribution option.

The only “bad news” here is that customers won’t have a direct say in the matter. So, if a customer orders a product Apple will analyze the order, where the product is in its distribution line, and then make a determination from that. So the order may still come from a warehouse.

While the process started seeing a test earlier this year, the timing is certainly good for Apple. The company is going to unveil the iPhone 12 lineup next week, and demand is probably going to be pretty strong. If this move helps with delivery times, that’s definitely good.