In preparation for the Apple Watch’s big unveil in the beginning of this year, Apple is beginning to make significant changes in its retail stores. Apple Stores across the world have to change some of their strategies to better prepare themselves to sell Apple Watches. They’re not just a technology–they’re a fashion piece. According to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, Apple is “[taking] some pages out of the traditional jewelry store playbook.”
There are many different types of Apple Watches that will be sold in stores, the most notable being the Apple Watch Edition. The Edition watches are made of 24k gold among other high-quality materials , distinguishing them from the sportier watches. It’s unknown what the sales process will be like for the more-expensive watch, but Apple Stores will allegedly be equipped with scales and custom-made safes for the Editions.
Because the Apple Watch is such a different kind of product for Apple to sell, the company is sending Apple Store employees from all of its stores to Cupertino, California and Austin, Texas for training sessions. This “extensive testing program” is taking place now and will last until February 16th.
In addition to these changes for the watch, Apple Stores have changed their uniform back to their signature blue colored shirts. A stark differences from the red shirts worn by Apple Store employees, these blue shirts come in different styles and fits for all of their employees to feel comfortable it.
Apple Watch Sport will begin selling at $349, and prices for the Apple Watch Edition are expected to be in the thousands. There is no official word as to what date Apple Watches will be hitting shelves yet, but we do know it’s soon.