- Apple retail stores will re-open during the first half of April. The openings will be staggered and stores in areas where the coronavirus is still an active threat will likely remain closed.
- Though the coronavirus is still spreading in major metropolitan areas, Donald Trump earlier today said that he hopes stores will begin to open up by Easter, which falls on April 12 this year.
- Apple closed its retail stores on March 14, a move which was then followed by a number of other prominent retail chains, including Nike and Calvin Klein.
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Apple plans to reopen its retail stores during the first of April, according to a new report from VentureBeat. Recall, coronavirus fears prompted Apple to close all of its retail stores outside of China about 10 days ago. Though Apple initially said all of its retail stores would reopen by March 27, the company subsequently indicated that stores would remain closed “until further notice.”
It remains unclear what prompted Apple to put a timeline on store reopenings, but it may have a little something to do with Donald Trump earlier today stating that he wants stores to open back up for business by Easter, which incidentally falls on April 12th.
Now for those who might be quick to categorize Apple’s decision as irresponsible or premature, it’s worth noting that not every single Apple retail store will reopen at once. Rather, the process will be staggered and, it stands to reason, will prioritize stores in locations where the coronavirus outbreak has seemingly been contained. With that said, there’s a chance Apple retail stores in major U.S. cities like New York City and Chicago will remain closed well into April.
VentureBeat’s report notes that Apple’s plans were relayed to employees via a memo from Deirdre O’Brien, the company’s senior VP of Retail. Recall, O’Brien was hired in February of last year after former chief of retail Angela Ahrendts stepped down:
As an Apple senior VP of both retail and people, O’Brien is responsible for both the company’s stores and its workforce, which has been scattered from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters into home offices following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. O’Brien told employees that the company will be extending its work-from-home arrangements through at least April 5, and will re-evaluate those arrangements on a weekly basis based on workers’ locations.
Word of Apple stores reopening will undoubtedly come as good news for folks who still have devices stuck inside of retail stores. Though Apple gave folks who dropped off devices for repair a two-day window to retrieve them, not everyone was able to make it over in time. As to Apple retail employees, it’s worth noting that Apple said a few weeks ago that it will continue to pay hourly workers in quarantine “in alignment with business as usual operations.”