Since the beginning of the pandemic, Apple’s stores had been shut tight in order to curb off the spread of the Coronavirus as well as ensuring the safety of staffs. The company even redesigned its support app on the iOS with new features because users might need support online since its stores had been closed down.
The latest is that the company will be reopening a “handful” of stores in the US this coming week. “We’re excited to begin reopening stores in the US next week, starting with some stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska,” an Apple representative told CNBC. “Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pickup.”CNBC also notes that there are about six Apple stores between those aforementioned states and so the small number of return will be easy to monitor closely when customers starts coming to the stores.
There are currently some 271 Apple stores in the US and that number is about 500 worldwide with the company having stores in Asia, Europe and Australia which are now reopened after being shut for weeks due to the pandemic. It’s China-based store was the quickest to reopen during the pandemic when China’s case was declining. But in terms of reopening stores in bigger cities like New York, that could take a little while.
When the stores are reopened, its retail employees will have access to temperature checks as well as obligated to wear face masks to further curb off the spread of the disease as well as encourage social distancing. Face coverings are also said to be provided to customers as the company said that the early days will be focused more on product repairs. A fair number of people likely had their devices stranded at the Genius Bar after the abrupt nationwide closure, even with Apple giving select customers a chance to retrieve finished repairs before stores locked their doors.
Here’s Apple’s full statement as it works to begin getting its US retail presence back up and running:
We’re excited to begin reopening stores in the US next week, starting with some stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska. Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will.
We’ve missed our customers and look forward to offering our support. With many working and learning from home, our primary focus will be providing service and support at the Genius Bar. We’ll open initially with additional safety procedures including temperature checks, social distancing, and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy. Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up.
As local guidance varies around the US there may be slight modifications to our procedures. As always, our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.Apple, Inc.