Apple stores could open as soon as mid-April

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Closed in Tulsa.
Photo: Brad Gibson / Cult of Mac

Apple told its retail employees that it will likely start reopening Apple Stores sometime during the first half of April, according to memo sent to various store employees on Tuesday.

Apple shuttered 467 of its stores outside of China as a precaution as COVID-19 rapidly advanced around the world.

In an exclusive story on Monday, Cult of Mac quoted unnamed store employees who said they were hearing informally that stores would not begin to reopen until mid-April.

A memo from senior Vice President of People and Retail Deirda O’Brien, which was obtained by Bloomberg News, confirmed what Cult of Mac reported Monday.

“For all of our retail stores outside of Greater China, we will reopen our stores on a staggered basis,” O’Brien said in the memo. “At this time, we anticipate some stores may be able to open in the first half of April depending on the conditions in their community. We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established.”

O’Brien said the company will continue work-from-home arrangements for employees who do not have to be onsite through at least April 5. This “will then be reevaluated weekly depending on your location,” she said.

CEO Tim Cook on March 14 announced an unprecedented move to close all non-China stores as part of a global effort that “requires all of our care, and all of our participation.”