Tuesday, May 02, 2006

7-11 iPod Sales

I sort of remember hearing we might be able to purchase iPods in convenience stores, but was totally surprised to see it several days ago. In the past, I had seen iTunes song purchase coupons in my local 7-11 store, behind the main counter. Then a week back, I was picking up my dinner at a 7-11 in Yokosuka and on my way to the counter something caught my eye. I thought "Oh, iPod songs", and was curious about the cost of songs when I saw boxes saying 'iPod' on them.

Being the Mac nerd that I am, I looked closer, and was surprised to see boxes containing all current iPod models, as well as some accessories. To be accurate, however, I should explain that the iPod boxes didn't contain any actual iPods - they were empty. You bring the box to the counter, they scan the price, and pull out the iPod from their stockroom or something. (This is standard practice in many electronics retailers here for various pocketable items, such as memory cards and game cartridges.)

Apparently, MacNN reported on this possibility in October and said some iPod models would have to be delivered in a day or two. Akihabara news posted a 7-11 iPod display in February (photo from their article) and it seems a lot of folks posted photos in Flickr or some similar site. So, I guess I'm sort of behind the pack here.

I was struck by how tempting it was to stop and grab an iPod off a display and have it rung up like any other purchase. Selling at a conveni means less hassle for the consumer. You don't have to go to an electronics or computer retailer, just your local 7-11. And you can buy an iPod 24 hours a day!

I can see a new category of iPod sales - the 'Drunken Binge' whim purchase.

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