The contrast between Apple's prestige city-centre stores and the Sam's Club warehouse chain – where budget goods are sold straight from the pallet – is sharp. But that's where Apple wants to set up mini stores to sell its gadgets.
There are about 600 Sam's Club retail warehouses across America selling everything from exercise bikes to jewellery in big out-of-town retail sites. The club works on a members-only basis offering goods just above wholesale prices.
According to 9to5mac, Apple is negotiating with Sam's Club management to get some Apple frontage inside Sam's stores. Sam's Club already sells Apple products and presumably Apple is looking to get its kit presented a bit more nicely.
Apple already has capsule store-fronts in Best Buy stores and is slated to be building more in Target outlets, in what seems to be an attempt by Cupertino to penetrate deeper into middle America. In the Best Buy shops, the mini-Apple stores consist of classic Apple store tables and signs, but don't have a Genius Bar and presumably lack some of the more ambitious design features found in the big flagships.
At a different end of the retail scale, London's Harrods could scoop a mini Apple store allowing Cupertino to sell its fondleslabs to rich foreigners browsing for overpriced toys.®