Apple mini stores will open in select Target locations and online this month, expanding the number of iPhones and accessories available.

The Monticello store will be one of the first with the concept. The mini stores will expand to locations throughout 2021, Target said Thursday.

The newly designed store spaces will better display the Apple products, plus Target "tech consultants" trained by Apple will be able to better answer questions and give product demonstrations.

"Apple products are popular with Target's guests, and this new, dedicated shopping experience offers enhanced service and expanded offerings, building on our strength as a go-to destination for electronics," said Christina Hennington, chief growth officer at Target. "This new model was created with Target's guests in mind, and we'll continue to learn and enhance the experience through future rollouts later this year."

Last year, Target announced an expanded partnership to bring Ulta Beauty mini stores into its locations.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, said the mini Apple shops are "another smart move" by Target.

"It represents a deepening of the in-store experience, similar to the play made in beauty via a partnership with Ulta," Saunders said. "Over recent years, Target has spent a lot of capital on making its stores welcoming and engaging. It is now looking for categories where it can generate higher sales by being even more impactful and interesting, and by providing better customer service."

Catherine Roberts • 612-673-4292