Rumors are going around about how Costco will be responding to Apple’s snub by not allowing them to sell the iPad. As you probably all know, the iPad is the latest cool, must-have gadget from Apple. It looks cool, it’s useful, and it’s what lots of people want for Christmas, their birthday, or just because. In recent weeks Apple has released the iPad to major retailers in North America to sell, with a big exception: Costco.
Even though Costco is the number three retailer in the US, and number seven world-wide, Apple has decided to not allow them to sell the iPad, in favor of retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, and Target. And this is despite the fact that Costco currently sells the other big seller for Apple, the iPod; they also sell the iPhone in certain areas. So, as you can guess, Costco is less than pleased with Apple’s snub. And the rumor going round from iLounge, is that Costco has decided to stop selling Apple products. They will sell through their current stock, and once it’s exhausted there won’t be more coming. And don’t go looking for the iPod on Costco.com anymore, because they’ve already removed it from there. The only Apple product left at Costco.com is iTunes gift cards.
So, the question is, at least for me: why would Apple do this? Is it not better to sell your gadgets at the widest array of retail stores? My speculation would be that this had more to do with strong arm tactics from Walmart, something for which they are widely known. I mean, if you’re being snobby (as many are saying) about where you are selling your items, I don’t think you’d choose Walmart and Sam’s Club, as neither is known for their selling of high-end or exclusive products, unlike Costco. My other thought would be that Apple was irritated that Costco sold the iPod for too little and made the Apple stores look grossly over-priced in comparison. But all of that is just speculation on my part.
This is reminiscent of the situation with Coke and Costco in 2009, when Costco decided to stop selling Coca-Cola until they got the same pricing as other retailers. In that event, Coke eventually came to an agreement with Costco. Hopefully, Apple will come around too, but that might not be enough if they don’t get the iPad into Costco before the holiday selling season.
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