Apple Watch is coming to John Lewis stores in the UK

Apple moves beyond the fashion boutiques stocking its smartwatch
Apple Watch is heading to John Lewis

The Apple Watch will go on sale in John Lewis stores around the UK on 18 September, as well as being sold through the department store's website.

The move follows Apple stocking the smartwatch in fashion boutiques around Europe at launch, including Dover Street Market in London. In August it also landed in retail giant Best Buy in the US and the John Lewis announcement comes just in time for watchOS 2 landing on devices from 16 September.

Read this: The best Apple Watch alternatives for iPhone users

With Apple also announcing new designs, we are not yet sure how many will be on display and available to try or buy at John Lewis. The company says it will stock a "curated selection". But the move is a no-brainer, awareness of smartwatches has been steadily growing all year and, even though Apple stores are full of fans tentatively prodding the wearables, there's plenty of people who have never seen one up close.

The Apple Watch is rolling out to 37 of John Lewis' 44 stores with four more locked down by Christmas - that all important period for smartwatch sales this year, according to our features editor Dan Sung.

"We believe Apple Watch will be one of the most sought after gifts this Christmas," said Will Jones, head of buying communication technology at John Lewis. We expect a couple more British retailers to follow but Apple isn't going to rush to remove the air of exclusivity around the Watch it is still just about maintaining.

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