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Apple Pulls Out of Retail Superstores

In part thanks to a significant increase in Macintosh sales at CompUSA, Apple this week announced plans to focus its national retail efforts on the CompUSA "store within a store" concept. As a result, Apple will phase out retail sales of Macs at similar stores, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Computer City, Office Max, and Sears. Comments from executives at those stores indicate that the ill-feelings between Apple and the major retail chains may have been mutual, and in fact, Best Buy reportedly dropped Macs from its shelves a week before this announcement. It’s important to note that this move does not affect the 3,500 other locations around the country where Apple products are sold, including regional retail chains, specialized Apple dealers, computer dealers, and value-added resellers, not to mention catalogs and online vendors. Although this move may result in lowered exposure for the Macintosh in major retail stores, the trade-off for increased exposure in the 148 CompUSA superstores is probably worthwhile. After all, if these other stores had, on the whole, been selling lots of Macs, Apple might not have ended up in the position it’s currently in.

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