Apple Watch Can Now Be Reserved Online and Picked Up in Stores

Apple will finally start selling its Apple Watch in retail stores later this month, but if you’re desperate to pick up the timepiece, there’s now another ordering method to consider. The company is rolling out a “Reserve & Pickup” system which allows you to choose a Watch online and, as the name implies, ultimately buy and collect your order in store. It’s a departure from the current appointment system, which requires that you order on the web — even if you’ve just handled the device in a shop. Instead of waiting for the mailman to deliver your Watch, you can now choose an almost immediate booking at your nearest store and walk out with the hardware sharpish. As 9to5Mac reports, the option is already live in the UK, China and Australia, and we expect other countries will follow later today. It seems Apple is finally starting to catch up with its pre-order backlog from May.

Gap To Close 175 Stores & Lay off 250 Employees

Between the loss of its creative director Rebekka Bay, slumping sales, and a handful of failed brand reinventions, it’s no secret that the past couple of years have been extremely rocky ones for Gap. This week brings more unfortunate news for Gap Inc., which announced late yesterday in a press release that it plans to shutter 175 of its Gap brand stores. These closures will affect only the namesake shops — not the outlets or specialty locations — and will occur mostly in North America, with 140 closures expected for this year.

The drastic move was an order under Gap’s new CEO Art Peck, who said that he prioritizes growth for the struggling brand over everything else. “Customers are rapidly changing how they shop today, and these moves will help get Gap back to where we know it deserves to be in the eyes of consumers,” he said in the release. It’s an attempt to streamline the operations and make the brand more nimble — which means cutting costs. Although Gap didn’t say whether workers in soon-to-be-shuttered stores would be fired, the company stated that it plans to lay off 250 employees at its headquarters in New York and San Francisco.

According to Gap Inc., these changes will save the company about $25 million a year. Although it will suffer about $140 million to $160 million in charges related to the moves, Peck admitted that these layoffs and closures are a necessary move to make Gap more competitive in the retail landscape. In many ways, this is a last resort to try to get sales back on track. Despite revamping its ad campaign strategy, recruiting high-profile celebrity endorsements, and even shaking up its merchandise, the brand has failed to keep customers in today’s crowded retail market. Gap Inc.’s changes won’t affect its other brands, such as Banana Republic and Old Navy. But, it wouldn’t surprise us if Gap looks to the thriving sales of Old Navy as a new kind model for success.

Apple Watch Finally Arrives at Apple Stores in Two Weeks

Apple says the Watch will finally hit its US retail stores in two weeks, and it expects to clear up most of its May pre-order backlog by then, as well. The wearable is also coming to seven more countries starting June 26th, namely Italy, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, Singapore, Switzerland and South Korea. Folks there will also be able to grab it at Apple’s online and retail stores, along with other select upscale outlets. The news is a pretty good sign that Apple is beginning to clear its order backlog, though it emphasized that demand had “surpassed our expectations.”

When pre-orders started in April, customers that didn’t nab one tout de suite saw delivery times slipping to June and later. Despite that, some pundits speculated that Watch sales hadn’t met expectations, even though Apple didn’t release any figures to back that up. What we do know is that if you ordered the Watch early on and still haven’t received it, the longest you’ll now have to wait now is two weeks. (The only exception is the 42mm stainless steel model in black, which will take an additional two weeks to ship.) If you’re hoping to head to an Apple Store and buy one off the rack soon, though, beware that Apple said only “some” models will be available.

Golf Game: Nike Unveils the Jordan Flight Runner Golf

It is a well-known fact that one of Michael Jordan’s favorite pastime activities is golfing, so it was only a matter of time before Nike bestowed its prized sponsored athlete with his own Air Jordan golf shoe model. The Jordan Flight Runner Golf fuses the Jordan Flight Runner 2 with Nike Golf’s technical Nike Free-inspired tooling. Design intricacies include the formidable combination of mesh and synthetic materials for lightweight support and enhanced breathability, coupled with interweaving Nike Flywire, ensuring a reliably snug fit. The shoe’s white midsole features a forefoot moderation plate, which secures the foot when initating standard golf motions, and its outsole sports TRI-LOK spikes. Nike’s Jordan Flight Runner Golf is set to exclusively launch later this month on Jordan Brand’s webstore in a black and grey colorway.

Omega Debuts Seamaster Diver 300m ETNZ for the 35th America’s Cup

Omega has unveiled a new Seamaster 300m timepiece to celebrate its association with both The America’s Cup yacht race and ETNZ, the Emirates backed New Zealand yacht team who will compete in the 35th installment of the aforementioned race. With a case made of brushed titanium and black ceramic, a rubber strap with folding buckle and a chronograph feature, that ensures the watch can be considered a yachting timepiece, this particular rendition of the Seamaster 300m is a fitting robust tribute to a famous old race. For more information and to find out where you can buy the watch visit Omega’s official website.

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Apple Watch Sells Out Day of Pre-Orders

Today is a big day for both Apple and the wearable tech space. The most anticipated wearable, the Apple Watch, was officially unveiled in Apple Stores with pre-orders opening at 12:01AM PST for purchase.

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, watch sales for the April 24 delivery date sold out within the first 10 to 30 minutes of it being made available for pre-order in the US depending on the model. Munster found that most Apple Watch devices are now shipping for June, stating a 4-6 week delivery time upon checkout. He believes that the initial sellout of the Watch was related to supply.

A report from MacRumors suggests that the Sport version of the Watch sold out first, followed by the Watch version which is Apple’s mid-tier category. While it only took an hour for the most expensive tier, the gold Apple Watch Edition, to sell out in China according Cult of Mac.

Although Apple Stores are now outfitted with display tables, demo units and try-on stations, the Apple Watch will only be available for purchase online and delivered straight to consumer during the launch period of the Watch. Only select stores will have the gold Edition Watch available to try-on and interested consumers will need to go online to Apple.com to schedule their 15-minute try-on session.

Ray-Ban Introduces the Wayfarer “Fleck” Collection

The classic and popular Ray-Ban Wayfarer silhouette gets an update this summer with the introduction of the “Fleck” collection.

This collection features several colorways of the classic tortoiseshell pattern, infusing colors apart from the standard brown. With pink, green, blue and gold infused in chestnut brown set with black arms, tortoiseshell lovers will definitely want a new pair in their collection. You also have the choice of either light-absorbing lenses in matching B-15 polarized finishes. Check out the collection here, retailing for $215 USD.

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Memorial Ash Beads: Artist Turns Your Loved Ones’ Ashes Into Jewelry

How would you like to keep the ashes of your loved ones? California-based artist Merry Coor would like to make them into beautiful memorial ash beads. These tangible mementos of your loved ones can be worn on the neck, to always keep them close to you. The bead is made from rods of special, colored, silvered glass, which are melted and formed into a bead. The ashes are then incorporated into its spiral pattern, and the entire assembly is then encased in glass. Finally, the customer has a choice of clasp and chain. The beads themselves are blue-green, representing whatever you think fit: the heavens, a planet, universe, and so forth.

Merry Coor has been making glass beads since the year 2000. It was only last year when a couple asked her to make a bead incorporating the remains of their friend who fell before his time. “The experience was amazing for me. As I made this special glass bead, I meditated, pondered, and let my mind free. I felt it was one of the most important beads I had ever made in my life, and I’ve made thousands of beads over the years.” It appears that the whole process of making memorial beads is a thing of almost religious importance.

Considering the nature of the service rendered, a certain amount of reverence that blends with over a decade worth of honed skill is really fitting.

More info: ashbeads.comEtsy