Angela Ahrendts, in a memo to retail employees acquired by iGen:
As we announced last week, due to high global interest combined with our initial supply, we are only taking orders online right now. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to in-store availability, but we expect this to continue through the month of May.
I didn’t expect Apple to begin stocking the Watch in stores until they caught up with demand, but it’s a little surprising to me that they don’t foresee doing so until June. This is a good sign for the product’s success, I just hope customers are satisfied with their purchase once pre-orders start arriving at the end of this week.
She also comments on how Apple plans to launch products in the future:
Are we going to launch every product this way from now on? No. We all love those blockbuster Apple product launch days—and there will be many more to come. They’re the moments where you, our teams, shine. And our customers love them as well!
I can imagine Apple was concerned that the Watch might not sell as well as analysts and the press expected it to. Especially since they seem disappointed even when Apple beats their own estimates. Selling the Watch exclusively online could have been a well planned tactic that was designed to mask sales numbers — it’s hard to determine how well a product is selling when you can’t actually see anyone buying it.
(Via 9 to 5 Mac).