Apple Stores will close again in England as the country goes into a second national lockdown, starting Thursday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown over the weekend as a result of a sharp spike in coronavirus cases. The lockdown — which will last a minimum of four weeks, but maybe longer — means that all non-essential stores will close. That includes Apple stores.
In total, Apple operates 38 retail stores in the United Kingdom. While that’s far less than the 271 in the United States (which you would expect, given the size difference between the two countries), it’s more than any other country in Europe. The European country with the next highest number of Apple Stores after the UK is France with 20. Germany has 15. Both countries may also be headed for new lockdowns as cases of coronavirus surge.
This closure comes shortly before Apple introduces its new iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini handsets. It is also shortly after Apple introduced the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. The holiday season is classically Apple’s most lucrative time of the year, so this latest lockdown could cost Cupertino big compared to previous ones this year.
Apple initially closed Apple stores in China at the start of 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It followed by closing all stores elsewhere in March. This was initially supposed to be for only a few weeks, but in the end, the shutdown continued until summer. Apple also closed stores as a result of various protests. In some cases, these tipped over into looting and damage to storefronts.
As with anything coronavirus-related, it’s not yet possible to predict when these measures will ease. Certainly, there are plenty of companies that are in a far more precarious place than Apple when it comes to high street closures. Nonetheless, this is bad news for Apple. And for anyone in England who wanted to drop in to check out the new iPhones.