Target confirmed it’s opening Apple shops within 25 retail locations sometime this year.

According to the Reuters report, the 25 stores will have special displays of Apple merchandise. Currently, Target offers the iPad, iPhone and iPod models. These items are mixed into the store’s standard display and not particularly noticeable.

When the iPad 2 launched, Target was the only retailer in my area with inventory because I don’t think customers saw the tablets tucked into the bottom of the display case.

Now with these “stores-within-a-store”, Target will likely carry Apple computers, portable devices and a variety of accessories. These Apple products will have their own section within Target’s electronics department. It will probably be similar to the Best Buy Apple stores, which have demo models and prominent signage that lets customers know the store carries Apple products. Initially, this rollout will be small, but I would expect it to expand throughout 2012 and beyond.

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