Nearly 30% of Apple Stores will be operational this week
Apple has started re-opening its stores in different parts of the world. The company had announced the decision to close all its retail stores outside China in March due to several uncontrolled outbreaks of COVID-19. But now, as the situation has evolved and countries are trying to re-open their economies while fighting the virus, Apple too is attempting to restart. Here's more about it.
Apple had re-opened all stores in China in March and has since been working with local authorities to gradually and safely restart those elsewhere. As of now, the company has already re-opened 99 of its 510 global stores and is working to add more to the list by reopening 25 more in the US, 12 in Canada, and 10 in Italy this week.
While the stores are being opened, it must be noted that they will not function like before, with the degree of service varying by store. Apple's Senior Vice President for retail and people Deirdre O'Brien says that all outlets will allow pick-ups of online orders and Genius Bar reservations but some will not let customers enter and only offer storefront or curbside services.
In a letter published online, O'Brien said Apple will limit store occupancy and focus on one-on-one service to maintain social distancing between people. Plus, the company will also carry out temperature, symptom checks for every visitor at the door, and conduct "enhanced deep cleanings" with a special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.
O'Brien added store employees/customers will be required to use face cover. In case a shopper does not have one, Apple will provide it to them. She emphasized, "A store opening in no way means that we won't take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant." To check the status of your nearest store, use the company's Find a Store tool.