Deirdre O’Brien, Apple's Senior VP of Retail + People, published an open letter today
on Apple's website. In the letter, O'Brien notes that nearly 100 Apple Stores around the world have reopened. First, let's have a little recap. The company was one of the first inside of China to take action right away, and by using social distancing Apple was able to slow the spread of the virus. Apple has continued to develop a set of rules that it has stuck with in China and elsewhere, and this has allowed it to safely keep its stores open for months. It plans on bringing over these rules to the U.S.
On March 13th, Apple reopened its retail stores in China, and on April 18th it opened its one location in South Korea
. Last Monday, an Apple Store in Idaho became the first in the states to turn the lights back on again and as of today, there are 99 brick and mortar Apple Stores open for business. In the coming week, there will be 25 more U.S. stores re-opening along with 12 in Canada and 10 in Italy.
By next week, Apple will have more than 100 of its 512 global Apple Stores open for business
O'Brien says, "Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we’re confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores. We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won't take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.
Employees and customers at reopened Apple Stores must wear face masks
You can check the status of any Apple Store by going to this website
and typing in the store's zip code. Each reopened store will limit the occupancy and make sure that everyone has sufficient room. The Genius Bar will focus on one-to-one personalized service. Team members and customers will be required to wear face masks and those without a mask will be provided one by Apple. Customers will have their temperatures taken at the door and posted health questions will screen for those with a fever or a cough, or who had a recent exposure to someone affected. During the day Apple will allow the stores to be deep cleaned with "special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas." And many Apple Stores will provide curbside pick-up and drop off. Online orders can be picked up from an Apple Store or shipped to a home address. As O'Brien wrote, "you can continue to find the same excellent standard of customer service and support online and over the phone to help you with any questions you might have."
The executive in charge of the Apple Store, Deirde goes on to add, "The response to COVID‑19 is still ongoing, and we recognize that the road back will have its twists and turns. But whatever challenges lie ahead, COVID‑19 has only reinforced our faith in people — in our teams, in our customers, in our communities. Down the road, when we reflect on COVID‑19, we should always remember how so many people around the world put the well‑being of others at the center of their daily lives. At Apple, we plan to carry those values forward, and we will always put the health and safety of our customers and teams above all else.
Thank you for all you’re doing to support the COVID‑19 response — whether that’s volunteering, donating, sharing gratitude for our medical workers, or maintaining social distance to protect the health of our communities."
Apple has 510 Apple Stores worldwide with 271 of them located in the United States.