Apple to start reopening retail stores next month despite coronavirus spread

Despite the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Apple is planning to reopen its retail stores across the globe beginning in April.

However, the reopening will be done on a staggered basis, with some stores expected to operate again during the first half of next month, per a circulated memo written by Deirdre O’Brien, SVP of Retail + People at Apple.

Some may remember that more than a week ago, Apple released an official statement about its plans to temporarily close most of its retail stores worldwide in light of the coronavirus outbreak, except for those currently operating in Greater China. This includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

The temporary closure of its retail stores was only supposed to last until March 27. However, it appears that Apple is taking a more cautious approach to reopening its stores around the world.

Store-by-store basis

The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to make an unprecedented impact on the global community, with some countries or regions experiencing more pronounced spikes in cases than others. 

This is likely why Apple has made the decision to take a more measured path to restore its operations in specific markets. In an internal meme from Apple’s SVP of Retail + People Deirdre O’Brien, she explains that each retail store will be evaluated thoroughly with regards to the safety of its location, as well as the overall state of the city it’s operating in, before resuming.

O’Brien also noted:

“For all of our Retail stores outside of Greater China, we will reopen our stores on a staggered basis. At this time, we anticipate some stores may be able to open in the first half of April depending on the conditions of their community.”

Apple offers work from home option to employees amid coronavirus outbreak

Safety remains the priority

Apple decided to temporarily shut down its retail stores around the world in order to make sure that all of its employees and customers are kept safe from the perils posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

It is also the reason why Apple began offering work-from-home options for its workforce. There are no reports yet on how long those arrangements will last, however, since there is currently no end in sight yet for this global crisis.

Still, just like any tech giant dealing with COVID-19, Apple tries to get on with its business as carefully as it possibly can. Meanwhile, it recently unveiled a new MacBook Air, as well as an improved iPad Pro. On top of that, it has been reported that the company has begun mass production of the iPhone SE 2.

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