Apple plans to reopen more than 25 of its branded stores in the United States, the company said on Sunday, continuing a process that has unlocked doors at nearly a fifth of its worldwide retail outlets.
Responding and adapting to COVID‑19 some months ago, the company closed nearly all of its Retail stores worldwide to protect the health and well‑being of its customers and teams. The iPhone maker started shutting its more than 50 Greater China stores in January and reopened them by mid-March.
As of today, Apple says that nearly 100 of its stores globally have been able to open their doors to customers.
“Our commitment is to reopen our stores when we are confident the environment is safe,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s head of retail, wrote on Sunday in a note on the company’s website.
The stores will impose social-distancing rules, limit occupancy and some will offer only curbside or storefront service, she said.
"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.," she added.
Apple is also taking some additional steps in most places. Face coverings will be required for all of Apple's teams and customers, and the company will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19. Throughout the day, Apple is conducting enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.
Apple has 510 stores worldwide and 271 in the United States.