Rumor: Apple partnering with Target to open 25 mini-stores

target apple via AppleInsiderIt looks like Apple may be extending its retail reach soon. The company is reportedly planning on latching onto the 2nd largest discount retail chain in America, Target, and will be opening up mini-Apple stores within select Target locations.

According to a report by Apple Insider, a “source familiar with Apple plans” said that the company will be opening 25 Apple-branded shops within Targets in areas that “can’t support a standalone Apple store.” Target hasn’t officially commented on the matter.

Apple is no stranger to the store-in-a-store concept, with Apple Shops currently operating at over 600 of Best Buy’s 1,000 locations. It’s also worth noting that Apple has had partnerships with stores like Sears and Circuit City in the past. The mini-stores offer a slice of the look and feel of what you can find at Apple’s retail stores.

25 Apple mini-stores isn’t that large of a deal considering Target has about 1,750 stores within the US. The move may be small, but Target has been working with Apple for many years already. The iPod made its way to Target in 2002, with then executive VP Tim Cook playing a role in the deal. Target then began selling the iPad in October 2010 along with Best Buy, and of course Apple. Target also capped its Apple product line by agreeing to sell the iPhone, but with these new mini-stores we could see all sorts of Apple gadgets; some Best Buy mini-stores have actual Apple Solution Consultants to help explain products, which we might see at Target along with the Apple store displays.

Apple currently has around 359 retail stores within 10 countries; one of the newest and largest Apple stores opened last month in New York’s Grand Central station.