When the Apple Watch was originally launched in 2014, Ma understood that selling watches ?only? in its physical and online stores was not a good way to serve the millions of users around the world.
It was the company's first investment in the wearable market (wearables) and she thought she could expand the offer of this new product a little bit by offering it not only in partner stores like Colette (Paris) and Maxfield (Los Angeles), but also set up small spaces within big stores / famous Lafayette galleries (Paris) , Selfridges (London) and Isetan Shinjuku (Tokyo).
Time has passed, the Apple Watch has established itself and plans are changing. The watch is far from the success that Apple envisioned; on the other hand, it is nowhere near the failure that many draw for action. Apparently this strategy of small stores dedicated to the clock, at least currently, does not make more sense and Apple decided to end it.
At the end of October 2016, the French website Mac4Ever reported (Google Translate) that the Apple Watch store within the Lafayette Gallery it would close its doors now, in January, due to weak sales.
This week there were signs that the store inside the Selfridgesin London goes the same way. That's because the store page inside the Apple website (which previously showed its location on the map, operating times and more information related to the location) simply disappeared and the URL now points to the page that lists all of Ma's stores in the country.
Taking into account that sales must be below what Apple predicted when the Watch was still in development and that the strategy changed a lot with the departure of gold and rose gold watches (which cost a small fortune and were positioned much more like jewels than as a wearable), quite capable of seeing all these stores closing (including the one in Japan).
(via 9to5Mac, MacRumors)
Update · 01/22/2017 s 22:02
In addition to the Apple Watch store within Selfridges (which did in fact close in early January), the store within Galeries Lafayette is apparently also closed in the past on this page that shows all of Ma's stores in the country.
We will now see when the Japanese Apple Watch mini store closes, too.