In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple has begun to make plans to reopen operations at its retail stores. Deidre O’Brien, head of Apple posted a letter on the company’s website with a detailed plan on how to safely resume operations.
Apple closed all its stores outside China in March as the Coronavirus spread worldwide. Stores reopened that same month in China while it is still taking careful steps to reopen elsewhere.
O’Brien writes, “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. This includes local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into. A store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.”
Over 500 Apple stores worldwide remain closed. However, Apple plans on reopening 25 more stores in the US, 10 in Italy and 12 in Canada. O’Brien stated that the services rendered will vary from store to store.
All stores will allow customers to pick up goods ordered online and to make Genius Bar reservations. Some stores will only offer storefront or curbside service.
Apple promises to ensure customers safety as it re-opens stores
Stores that do open their doors will be subjected to temperature checks and all staff and customers will wear face masks. Apple will also enforce social distancing rules with a limited number of people in the store at once.
“In every store, we’re focused on limiting occupancy and giving everybody lots of room, and renewing our focus on one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store,” O’Brien writes.
Apple reopened a few US stores last week in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska. According to CNBC this week’s re-openings will be in Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Colorado. Also, some California and Washington locations will offer curbside service.
Details of re-openings will be updated through Apple’s Find a Store search tool.