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Apple starts two-hour delivery from its retail stores for $5

The tech giant is expanding the way people can get items such as iPhones delivered, using stores as hubs to send out products.

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Now you have more options to get stuff delivered.

Angela Lang/CNET
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Over the years, Apple's retail stores have acted as part-showroom, part-educational center, part geek-gathering spot. Now, Apple's making them part-shipping hub too.

The tech giant has begun offering two-hour shipping on items in its stores "in most metros." Apple says it'll send the courier deliveries for $5 "for a limited time."

"With convenient delivery and pickup methods, Apple is making it easier and safer to get the products you want," the company said on its information website about the deliveries. Apple also said deliveries can be no-contact, and drivers may ask for a verbal confirmation instead of signature proof.

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The move is Apple's latest to expand the way its stores operate. The company's stores have stood out for their sparse designs since opening in 2001. They've since become one of the most successful retailers on the planet, racking up $5,500 per square foot as recently as 2017. (By comparison, jeweler Tiffany & Co. earned as much as $3,043 per square foot.)

Part of that success is due to its free and paid education programs, helping people learn a variety of skills, from how to use their laptops to how to code for an iPad.

Apple's no-contact deliveries and new courier options follow other efforts to revamp its stores in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 72 million people around the world, and killed more than 1.6 million people. One of Apple's most recent changes was offering outdoor pickup and repairs, a system called "Express." Now it'll start shipping from the stores too.