Apple Embraces Micro-Fulfillment
Apple is starting to use its network of retail stores as micro-fulfillment centers for shipping products to consumers, according to Bloomberg.
The company has typically shipped devices such as iPhones, Macs, iPads, and accessories from warehouses or directly from China. Now items that are in stock can be shipped directly to consumers from stores, 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.
The change in delivery operations at Apple retail locations comes as the company prepares to launch the new iPhone 12 this week.
Earlier this year Apple closed many of its stores for months due to the pandemic.