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Apple encouraging watch buyers to avoid shops, go online: report

[SAN FRANCISCO] Apple Inc wants employees to encourage customers to order the new Apple Watch online and avoid a crush at its stores, according to a report by Business Insider.

Angela Ahrendts, the Apple's head of retail, issued a memo to employees outlining the "significant change" in strategy, according to the article, which was posted on Tuesday.

Starting Friday, customers will be able to pre-order the device online and view it at stores by appointment. The Apple Watch goes on sale April 24.

The Ahrendts note marks a departure for an Apple product debut. Introductions of new iPhones usually are accompanied with long lines at stores worldwide, with shoppers lining up days in advance, in addition to Web sales. While many buyers walk away disappointed, the perceived scarcity helps create buzz for the devices.

"The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers," Ms Ahrendts wrote, according to Business Insider.

Ms Ahrendts, former chief executive officer of Burberry Group Plc, joined Apple last year and was charged with revamping the store experience and figuring out how best to sell the company's new watches.


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