Apple Ends Personal Shopping Service in Stores

November 2, 2010

As part of the expected rush of holiday shoppers, and a change in philosophy on serving customers, Apple has quietly ended its free Personal Shopping service that provided appointment-based product demonstrations and selection assistance. All references to the service have been erased from the company’s Web site, and the Personal Shopping link now re-directs surfers to the main Retail page (former page). Individual stores pages and the Apple Store app have also been updated. According to sources, the change became effective yesterday and stems from the belief that every customer should receive the same attention and amount of service.  Previously, store visitors who wanted help in selecting and trying out Apple products could make an on-line appointment at any store up to 14 days in advance. Visitors would then arrive, check in, and then, “take all the time you need to test-drive the products you’re interested in.” The former Web page also noted that the service was, “All with no pressure—there’s no obligation to buy.” Now, those needing product demo and selection help will be assisted by the regular Red Zone staff. Update: The change is slightly more subtle: Apple store employees will still offer demo and purchase assistance as available, but as part of their normal customer assistance duties. However, the “Personal Shopping” name and reservation service have been eliminated.

The original menu (left) for individual stores showed Personal Shopping in the second position. That option is no longer displayed (right).

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