Apple asks retail employees to help with online customer support

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Like everyone else, Apple retail employees are being asked to work online.
Apple retail employees are being asked to become online employees to make using Apple.com better for customers.
Photo: Apple

Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s retail boss, sent a video to retail employees this weekend asking them to sign up to help customers remotely. She also said they should expect store closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue “for some period of time.”

Separately, Apple told employees that it doesn’t expect to have everyone back in its corporate headquarters before the end of 2020.

Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store

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Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Photo: Apple

May 15: Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store, with plans to open 25 Apple Stores in the U.S. May 15, 2001: Steve Jobs flips the script on the dreadful experience of computer shopping, unveiling an ambitious plan to open 25 innovative Apple stores across the United States.

The first two Apple stores, located at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, are set to open later that week. But this new Apple initiative is about much more than just a couple of retail outlets. It’s a radical reinvention of tech retail that will change the way computers get sold.

Apple Stores in Italy reportedly to commence reopening May 19 [Update]

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"Benvenuto" will soon be heard at some Apple Stores in Italy.
Photo: Apple

[Update 9:30 am, 05/14/2020: Since our original story ran, the one Apple Store in Italy reportedly planning to reopen next week has changed its hours back to fully closed. We will monitor the situation and report any more details, if warranted.]

Apple reportedly will reopen 10 of its 17 retail store locations in Italy beginning May 19.

As in other locations around the world that have reopened, security measures will be in place to protect customers and employees.

Apple to reopen first retail store in Europe May 5 since pandemic shutdown

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Vienna becomes first Apple store to reopen in Europe following COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Eric Weber for Cult of Mac

Apple will reopen its store in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, as its retail operations slowly emerge from a worldwide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vienna store is Apple’s first outside of China and South Korea to reopen after the company shuttered its brick-and-mortar locations in March.

According to Austria’s Heute newspaper, the only store in Austria will reopen with additional security precautions, including social distance and adjusted opening hours. Customers will be required to wear a protective mask and will be checked for a fever.

Atlanta could get super-sized flagship Apple Store

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This could be the next Atlanta Apple Store.
This could be the next Atlanta Apple Store.
Photo: Schroeder Architects

The Apple Store in Atlanta’s Lenox Mall is apparently getting a big upgrade.

An illustration of a new store coming to this high-end mall has surfaced, and while it doesn’t yet have an Apple logo, the company’s familiar design is very much in evidence.

This McDonald’s is as pretty as an Apple Store

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Is this an Apple Store or a McDonald's?
Is this an Apple Store or a McDonald's?
Photo: McDonald's

People dropping into the new Apple Store in Chicago might be surprised to find that it’s actually a McDonald’s. This fast-food chain’s new flagship restaurant bears a strong resemblance to Apple’s retail stores.

The similarities are more than skin deep. The McDonald’s location strives to be as environmentally friendly as an Apple Store.

Apple plans store in Downtown Los Angeles’ historic Tower Theater

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The Tower Theater will be the home of the first LA Apple Store in the Downtown district.
The 91-year-old Tower Theater will be the home of the first LA Apple Store in the Downtown district.
Photo: Steve Minor/Flickr

There are multiple Apple Stores in the Los Angeles Area, but not one in the Downtown district. That’s apparently just about to change.

The iPhone maker has plans to put an Apple Store in the historic Tower Theater on S. Broadway.

New Seattle Apple Store focuses on education rather than products

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Seattle Apple Store has a giant screen
A giant screen for Today at Apple classes is the focus of the Seattle Apple Store.
Photo: Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

You can still buy MacBooks and iPads at new Apple Store in Seattle, but that’s not the main emphasis. Instead, this retail location is built around a giant screen that’s used for educational events.

Of course, these educational events are all product related, like how to take better pictures with an iPhone. Or run a small business with an iPad.