Apple said Tuesday it intends to open its retail locations in 21 U.S. states. But some stores will reportedly only offer curbside service, with customers not allowed to go in. The dates these Apple Stores would reopen were not announced.
Virtually all of Apple’s storefronts have been closed since March to slow the spread of COVID-19.
[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.
The long wait is almost over. Apple said Friday it will open the doors of a few of its U.S. retail locations next week. The majority of Apple Stores globally closed almost two months ago as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. More stores will reopen when the company deems it safe.
Apple Stores across the U.S. will remain closed until at least early May, the company’s SVP of Retail and People Deirdre O’Brien has told staff, Bloomberg reports.
In a memo sent to employees Thursday, O’Brien also noted that “flexible work arrangements will remain in place for all offices.” Tim Cook previously advised Apple employees to work from home where possible.
There are strong indications that the 467 Apple Stores outside mainland China closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not reopen until mid-April at the earliest, according to multiple location managers and employees worldwide.
Many Apple Store staff members are being quietly told that the situation remains on a “wait-and-see” status. Meanwhile, Cupertino executives continue to assess which locations might reopen and when on a case-by-case, state-by-state and country-by-country basis.
“I’ve been told not to expect stores in my area to be open anytime soon, and when I asked for a guess, two people ventured to say mid-April, but they said it with no certainty,” said the manager of an Apple Store in the southern United States. The Apple employee asked not to be named because the discussions were meant to be private.