Apple has changed its stance on Black Friday. The company, which is now teasing its upcoming one-day deals via a new web page, will again participate in the holiday shopping event after having famously sat out last year, then touting its decision as part of its mission to be “good to…employees.” The new site doesn’t detail what deals will be available, but does promote the company’s Apple Store App and free, two-day delivery while also encouraging consumers to check their local store’s extended hours.
Retail store hours will differ by location, but many will offer expanded opening and closing times throughout the holidays in order to handle the increased foot traffic.
Meanwhile, Apple’s focus on e-commerce sales is evidenced on the new Black Friday teaser page, which says that sales that take place during this one-day event will include free shipping, if orders are placed before 5 PM. The site doesn’t clarify if that’s 5 PM EST or PST, so it’s assumed that means 5 PM local time. Two-hour delivery is also available in select markets, thanks to Apple’s earlier partnership with Postmates.
The new page also points to a handful of curated gift collections, including music gifts, photography gifts, toys and games, and Apple gifts – the latter which is simply a listing of its top devices like iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Apple Watch, Apple TV and various accessories.
Apple’s decision to host a Black Friday event is noteworthy because the company last year had famously refused to participate in the holiday shopping frenzy – a move that signaled that the retailer didn’t really need the influx of sales that the event brings. After all, Apple generates billions in quarterly profits. However, as recent earnings have indicated, Apple’s smartphone business has been starting to slow, and it’s still too early to see how consumers will react to the newly-launched Macbook computers, in terms of real-world purchases.
Last year, Apple’s SVP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts explained Apple’s decision to exit the shopping holiday because “being good to your employees will always be good for business.” Its new stance doesn’t necessarily mean those values of treating employees well have fallen by the wayside, but rather that Apple may have simply not liked what it saw in terms of the financial impact that came from sitting the event out.