- Apple today announced that all of its retail stores are opening back up as the COVID-19 infection rate continues to drop.
- Some Apple retail stores will be open for in-store shopping while others will be limited to curbside pickup and Express storefronts.
- Apple first closed its US-based retail stores in early March of 2020.
With the COVID-19 infection rate on a steep decline, Apple today announced that it was reopening all of its 270 retail stores in the United States. The store reopenings, it’s worth pointing out, don’t necessarily mean that the shopping experience will be reverting back to what it was like pre-COVID.
For starters, stores that are fully open will still enforce mask-wearing and social distancing. Second, some stores will be partially open to the extent there won’t be in-store foot traffic, but rather curbside pickup, in-store shopping appointments, and/or express storefronts.
Apple originally introduced its Express storefronts in late 2020 in anticipation of the holiday shopping season. The storefronts, as Reuters noted at the time, have “a wall built in front of the main store with sales counters protected by plexiglass and a few shelves of accessories such as phone cases and AirPods.”
“It’s a swifter way for us to serve customers,” Apple retail executive Deirdre O’Brien said at the time. “It allows us to maintain all the appropriate social distancing and maintain all of our health protocols within our stores.”
Apple initially closed all of its US-based stores in mid-March, just as cities across the country started to implement strict lockdown measures. Since then, Apple retail stores have re-opened re-closed in response to the prevailing state of the pandemic in different geographic regions. With that said, one can only hope that the COVID infection rate will continue to drop down and that this will be the last time Apple retail stores have to go through a cycle of closing, opening, and closing again.
To check the extent to which your local Apple store is open, you can view a complete list of Apple stores over here on Apple’s website. Whereas some stores indicate that they’re open for walk-ins with appropriate health and safety measures, others indicate that they’re only open for the pickup of online orders. If the COVID infection rate keeps going down, it stands to reason that it won’t be long before all Apple retail stores open back up for in-store shopping.
One of the more interesting things about Apple’s store closings in 2020 is that it didn’t have much of an impact at all on the company’s bottom line. On the contrary, Apple posted several record-breaking financial milestones throughout the year. During the 2020 holiday quarter, for example, Apple posted a record-breaking $111.44 billion in revenue, a whopping 21% increase from its holiday quarter in 2019.