Apple stores to receive exclusive Beats sales period, other retailers have to wait

Apple Retail Stores will receive the first crack at selling desirable new Beats headphones under a limited exclusive distribution period, before wider retail coverage a few weeks later, Appliance Retailer can today reveal.

Although this is not a huge surprise — in fact, we flagged it in a column on the day Apple’s acquisition of the famous audio brand was confirmed — the speed at which Apple has begun maximising sales and profitability from the Beats range is impressive. Beats is still distributed in Australia by Ingram Micro, though this may change as Apple takes greater direct control over the brand.

The first products to be subject to Apple Retail exclusivity are the Solo2 headphones and Powerhouse2 Wireless earphones unveiled yesterday. Apple’s 21 Retail Stores are expected to have four weeks of exclusivity over the new Beats products, although the exact timeframe has not been revealed. Beats said yesterday that the range would be “available at select retailers in June and more widely available in July”.

When pressed, Beats confirmed that “select retailers” referred only to Apple Retail Stores.

Appliance Retailer understands that Beats is the #1 headphone brand by value in Australia. With restrictions now being placed on retail distribution, admittedly only for a few weeks, retailers that are being denied the product on the day of release will miss out on the ability to register sales.

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