Apple Plans to Start Reopening Retail Stores in First Half of April

Apple today informed employees that it plans to reopen its Apple retail stores starting in the first half of April, according to Bloomberg. Retail stores will not all reopen at once and will likely remain closed longer in areas with more widespread outbreaks.

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 in their community. We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established.
Apple closed all of its stores outside of China on March 14, and at the time of the closure, said that retail locations would remain closed until March 27. That date was later extended with vague wording on the Apple Store website that said stores would be closed "until further notice."

Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien apparently told employees today that remote work plans will be extended through at least April 5, but after that date, brick and mortar stores will be reopening on a staggered basis. Apple plans to reevaluate work from home arrangements on a weekly basis based on workers' locations.
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People Who Left Devices at Apple Stores for Repair Can’t Get Them Until Stores Reopen

All of Apple's retail locations outside of Greater China are closed right now, and customers who left their devices for repair are unable to pick them up until the stores reopen, an Apple spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.


Apple closed all of its stores on Saturday, March 14, but stayed open for a few extra days to allow customers to pick up devices ordered for in-store pickup or that were at the store for repair. There were, however, some people who weren't able to make it into stores to get their devices.

"We made every possible attempt to get people's products back to them," an Apple spokesperson said. "There certainly are people that, for whatever reason, did not pick up their products before we closed and their products are at our stores."

Apple's stores are closed "until further notice" with no specific reopening date, and an Apple spokesperson said there is no protocol in place for people to get their devices until the stores reopen. Apple originally planned to reopen on March 27, but later updated wording on its website with a less specific timeline.

Apple is working with customers who had their devices sent to a repair center to get them sent back to their homes rather than to retail stores for pickup.
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Apple Says Retail Stores Now Closed ‘Until Further Notice’

Apple retail stores will be closed until further notice, according to a new banner posted on Apple's website (via 9to5Mac).


Apple on Friday shut down all of its retail stores outside of greater China for a two week period in an effort to cut down on the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States and other countries.

Following the store closures, Apple published a FAQ on its website answering key questions customers might have about repairs and returns. As of writing, the FAQ still says that Apple stores will be closed outside of Greater China through March 27, suggesting Apple has yet to update the page to reflect the change.

Notably, the banner currently only appears on Apple's U.S. website, so whether or not the indefinite closures apply to all retail stores outside of China is unclear.

As part of its measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the U.S. administration on Monday advised the public to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, so it's possible that Apple's decision to close stores "until further notice" is a response to that guidance.

Apple plans to continue to pay its hourly workers during the store closures and has expanded leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19, including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges.
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Apple Stores in San Francisco Bay Area to Remain Closed for At Least Three Weeks Under New Shelter-in-Place Mandate

Six San Francisco Bay Area counties this afternoon issued a shelter-in-place mandate that affects close to seven million people along with businesses in the area, including Apple Stores, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.


In the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa, along with the city of Berkeley, residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities. Santa Clara county includes Apple's headquarters and many additional offices, while there are multiple ‌Apple Stores‌ across the six affected counties.

People must work from home unless they provide essential services like public safety, sanitation, and medical services. Pharmacies, banks, and grocery stores will remain open, as will restaurants, but only for take out. Veterinary services, gas stations, hardware stores, and other shops are permitted to remain open, but other stores will close.

Non-essential gatherings of any size are banned, along with non-essential travel "on foot, bicycle, scooter, automobile, or public transit."

Given the shelter-in-place order, ‌Apple Stores‌ in the Bay Area are not likely to be able to reopen on March 27 as planned, as the order is set to last for three weeks at this time, ending on April 7 at the earliest.

Apple on Friday closed all of its retail stores across the United States for a two week period.

The shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area is the most restrictive in the United States at this time, and have been put in place to halt the spread of the virus. The Bay Area has 251 reported cases of coronavirus at this time, but infectious disease experts believe there could be hundreds and possibly thousands of cases in the area that are undiagnosed due to testing issues.
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Apple to Close All Retail Stores Outside of China Until March 27th

Apple today announced that it is closing all of its retail locations outside of Greater China until March 27 due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, which means Apple Stores worldwide will be shuttered for the next two weeks.


In a letter letting customers know about the store closures, Tim Cook says that China has taught us that the most effective way to minimize the risk of the coronavirus's transmission is to reduce population density and maximize social distance, which is why ‌Apple Stores‌ are closing. Apple had already closed all of its stores in Italy and Spain, but stores in other countries like the United States have remained open until now.
As of today, all of our stores in Greater China have reopened. I also want to thank our operations team and partners for their remarkable efforts to restore our supply chain. What we’ve learned together has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.

One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.

We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27.
Cook says that customers who need to purchase devices or accessories can do so on Apple's website or through the Apple Store app. Customers who need service and support can use Apple's support site.

Apple plans to continue to pay its hourly workers during the store closures and has expanded leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19, including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges.
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Apple Closes All Retail Stores in Spain Due to Coronavirus

Apple has closed all 11 of its retail stores located in Spain as the coronavirus continues to spread in the country. Spain earlier today declared a state of emergency.


In a message posted on all of its store websites in Spain, Apple says that health precautions have forced the closure of its retail locations, with no word on when the stores will reopen.
Due to current health precautions, this store will remained closed until further notice. If you need online support, visit getsupport.apple.com. Apologies for the inconvenience.
There are 4,200 people infected with coronavirus in Spain, and 120 people have died. Spain has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe after Italy, where Apple has also closed all of its retail locations.

Apple Stores in the United States remain open, though in some areas with restrictions on store openings, stores have closed. Apple Willow Grove Park in Pennsylvania, for example, is no longer open after the governor ordered mass closings of schools, gyms, entertainment venues, and more in Montgomery County in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the area.

In the coming days, there's a chance that additional stores in the United States could close, but at the current time, Apple employees are doing frequent cleanings and Apple has implemented measures to increase the amount of space between customers to mitigate the spread of the infection.

Thanks, Sam!
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Apple Cancels Today at Apple Sessions Until at Least April 5, Boosts Mac Stock in Stores

Apple yesterday canceled Today at Apple sessions across all of its retail locations in the United States and Canada, after canceling sessions earlier in the week in areas highly impacted by the coronavirus like the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle.


Today at Apple sessions will be canceled until at least April 5 at this point in time, according to a retail employee with knowledge of Apple's plans, though that could change based on how the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread. High-profile events that would potentially draw a lot of people have been canceled until April 12.

Apple has implemented strict cleaning measures in its retail stores, and has cut down on the number of seats at the Genius Bar and the number of seating cubes in the forum areas, plus stores are limiting the number of people that can be inside at one time.

As Apple takes these measures, the company is also stocking up on Macs and Mac accessories in some of its retail stores, with an employee stating that there's been a "sharp increase" in Mac supply.

Across the country, schools and office buildings have shut down, leaving people to do their jobs and schoolwork from home. With an increase in Mac stock at some retail locations, Apple may be hoping people come into its stores to buy the tools they need to work remotely.
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Apple Store Employee on Leave in Santa Monica Contracts COVID-19

An Apple Store employee from the Third St. Promenade store located in Santa Monica, California tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, reports TechCrunch. The employee had been on leave to care for a relative since March 2, 10 days before being diagnosed.


Apple says that it consulted health experts and did an overnight deep cleaning of the Third St. store, which is still open.
"Apple's first priority -- now and always -- is the health and safety of our employees, customers and the communities we serve. An employee at our Third St. Promenade store in Santa Monica informed us they had tested positive for COVID-19 late yesterday. The employee has not been to the store since taking leave on March 2 to care for a relative.

In consultation with health experts, we've taken a number of steps to protect our teams and customers. All our stores around the world have increased deep cleaning protocols and we have actively reduced customer density in all stores worldwide by cancelling Today at Apple sessions and creating extra space for Genius Bar appointments. As a precaution, we also undertook an additional extensive deep clean overnight before reopening the Third St. Promenade store.

We recognize this is a challenging and ever changing time for our global community and our thoughts are with those around the world personally affected by COVID-19 and the heroic medical professionals and researchers fighting it."
Apple previously initiated extended cleaning protocols and reduced density at the store through the cancelation of Today at Apple sessions and spaced out Genius appointments, measures implemented at all retail stores across the country.

Apple Stores in the United States have so far remained open, though with the above mentioned measures in place. In popular stores, Apple is also limiting the number of customers who are allowed in the store at one time.

At the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Apple shuttered all of its retail stores, though those stores have now reopened. Stores in Italy are closed right now, and Apple is likely closely monitoring the coronavirus situation in the U.S. to determine whether store closures are an appropriate next step.

TechCrunch asked Apple if it is considering closing retail locations in the United States, but Apple declined to comment.
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Apple Limits AirPods and Apple Watch Try-Ons in Retail Stores to Prevent Coronavirus Spread

Apple is scaling back Apple Watch and AirPods try-on options at some of its retail stores as part of an effort to cut down on the spread of coronavirus, reports Business Insider.


Customers can still ask to try on ‌Apple Watch‌ and ‌AirPods‌ models, but employees have been told not to offer try-ons proactively or to encourage them. Limited try-ons are part of Apple's broader efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the United States.

As was reported earlier this week, Apple has ordered extra cleanings of display products throughout the day, introduced hand sanitizing stations, and has reduced the number of chairs at the Genius Bar and cubes in the Forum area to add additional space between customers.

In areas with more severe coronavirus outbreaks, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle, Today at Apple sessions have been shut down entirely. An Apple spokesperson confirmed that Apple is indeed limiting crowding in stores, but declined to specifically comment on try-ons.

Apple Stores in the United all remain open at the current time, but in other areas hit hard by the coronavirus, Apple has closed retail locations. Stores in China were closed for much of February, and right now, all stores in Italy are closed.
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Apple Closes All Retail Stores in Italy Due to Coronavirus

Apple is closing all of its retail stores in Italy as the coronavirus outbreak in the country continues to spread, with the stores set to be shuttered as of March 12.


Apple's website for Italian stores says that due to precautionary health measures currently in force, retail locations will remain closed until a later date. Italian customers are instructed to get online support for their devices.

The decision to close all Apple Stores in the country comes following a national quarantine enacted by the Italian government. People in Italy are required to stay in their homes except in situations of necessity for work and health circumstances.

All of the ‌Apple Stores‌ will be closed for the rest of the week, and it is not clear when they will reopen. Italy's mandatory quarantine will last through April 3, 2020.

Apple had previously closed stores in the most widely affected areas in Italy and was operating on reduced hours in some other locations. More than 12,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Italy, and there have been over 800 deaths.

(H/T SetteBIT)
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