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MacRumors has learned that Apple is planning to launch an update to its retail store iOS app that will allow consumers to utilize self-checkout for purchases of accessories and other shelf-stocked items at the company’s retail stores. According to our source, self-checkout purchases will be charged via the Apple Store app to the customer’s iTunes Store account.

It is not entirely clear what will happen once a user has checked out via the app, although store employees will of course be on the lookout for store visitors walking out with merchandise in hand, as they are already. Customers who have made a purchase through self-checkout will be able to show an emailed receipt to any employee, confirming their purchase.

High value products such as Macs, iPhones, and iPods are kept in the stockroom at Apple retail stores, meaning that customers purchasing these items will still require assistance from a store employee. We have, however, been told that customers will be able to pre-purchase these items through the app and simply pick them up with the assistance of a store employee. But for the plethora of accessories, cases, and other items stocked directly on the sales floor at Apple retail stores customers will soon be able to purchase these items without needing to catch the attention of a store employee with an EasyPay device to complete the transaction.

Heylookitseric is reporting similar information, claiming that the update to the Apple Store app enabling self-checkout is scheduled to arrive on November 3rd. The report also notes that Apple will continue to expand its program allowing customers to have their orders from the online Apple store shipped to their local Apple retail stores for pickup. That program launched at the company’s three San Francisco stores last Wednesday and is now available at all sixteen stores in the Bay Area with further expansion apparently coming soon.

Finally, Apple is said to be enhancing its online store to allow a single order of multiple items to be routed to different shipping addresses. Rolling out in time for the holiday shopping period, the enhancement will be particularly useful for customers wishing to purchase all of their Apple gift items in a single transaction and have them shipped to different recipients at checkout.

[Via MacRumors]

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