Not only has the coronavirus affected the production of certain Apple products, it also has changed the way that Apple sells them. In China, the company originally closed all 42 Apple Stores before reopening 29 of them with limited hours. In Italy, where the whole country is on lockdown, all of the Apple Store locations in the country are obviously shuttered. And as Broadway goes dark for four to six weeks at the same time that U.S. professional sports leagues suspend their seasons, it seems that it will only be a matter of time before U.S. Apple Stores close too.
According to Business Insider, Apple Store employees are being told not to offer consumers the opportunity to try on an Apple Watch or a pair of AirPods. However, customers can still try on either device if they request to do so; Apple is simply telling employees that they can't suggest it. Potential buyers often try on an Apple Watch to determine which case size provides a better fit. And with the customizable fit for the AirPods Pro, some shoppers want to see what the device feels like in their ears.Until Apple decides to lock the doors on more brick and mortar stores, the company has issued a warning to its employees.
Apple Store employees with coronavirus symptoms are allowed unlimited sick leave even without a note from the Doctor. The tech titan also reduced the seating available for Apple Store customers by as much as 50% in an effort to reduce the number of people browsing inside the store at one time. While Apple is looking out for its customers, it also has the safety of its employees in mind. As we told you yesterday, an Apple Store employee in Cork, Ireland tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Apple Watch and the AirPods both belong to Apple's fastest-growing business unit, Wearables, Home and Accessories. The Apple Watch is the most popular timepiece in the world and Apple AirPods is the leading in-ear wearable in the world. Over the last two fiscal quarters, growth in this unit has risen by 54% and 37%.
There are more than 500 Apple Stores worldwide.