For you pre-Thanksgiving shoppers, the Apple retail store on Friday announced a way to get a jump on your holiday list. The Reserve And Pick Up option will let you choose hardware products online and to collect them between December 15 and 24. Currently, the line-up of offerings includes iPods, iPhones, MacBooks, Mac Minis, iMacs, and Mac Pros. To make a reservation, you sign in with your Apple ID and select a store location. Payment is due only at the time of pick-up.
Other retailers have had store pick-up options for some time. Apple's program is clearly aimed at adding value to its stores' vaunted customer experience. Shoppers who make their reservations online can avoid the disappointment of finding something out-of-stock at the retail store. And in theory, the purchasing and pick-up process should be more efficient than waiting in long holiday lines. In many cases, items can be wrapped in the "signature gift box," too.