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.
Apple Stores outside of Greater China now look unlikely to reopen on March 28 after Apple on Tuesday updated its notices to read “closed until further notice.”
A banner displayed at the top of the company’s website makes it clear to visitors that its retail locations are out of action for now. Apple insists, however, that it remains “committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.”
Apple retail stores in Beijing are taking customers’ temperatures and requiring them to wear surgical masks as the area tries to normalize amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Five Apple stores in Beijing reopened their doors with limited hours today after being closed since last month. CNBC senior correspondent Eunice Yoon posted a video from one of the newly reopened stores and the inside is shockingly empty.
When Apple fires an executive, the company is rarely straightforward about the situation. Apple never puts out a press release stating plainly that the executive was canned. So Tuesday’s unexpected announcement that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, is leaving in April led many to suspect she was fired.
That’s because the announcement came as a surprise and seems rushed. She’s certainly not retiring or quitting to join another company. The press release phrase “new personal and professional pursuits” sounds like code for “canned.”
Steve Jobs’ hands-on approach to just about every project at Apple is part of his legend.
Ron Johnson, Apple’s first head of retail, offers fascinating detail about Jobs and the work leading up to the first Apple Store during a recent episode of the Gimlet podcast Without Fail hosted by Andy Blumberg.
Jobs was demanding and described by many as often difficult to work with. But Johnson says working with Jobs was a “gift.”