This week, we inform you that the stores of Apple could reopen gradually – depending on the evolution conditions of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in each country – starting this month. Now, however, a new report from Bloomberg explains that this is not the case for United States.
In a memo sent yesterday to her employees, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O’Brien, said that “all stores will remain closed until the early may“. As a result, Apple’s flexible working arrangements “will remain in effect for all offices and stores” until then.
O’Brien also explained that Apple “continues to monitor the local conditions of all its facilities on a daily basis” and that reopening decisions will be made after “thorough and judicious analysis, and the latest guidance from local governments and public health experts” .
According to her, Apple is “working on options” to ensure that employees who have children have the flexibility to adjust their hours as needed.
As released a few weeks ago, Santa Clara County (where Apple Park, Infinite Loop and many other Apple offices are located) issued an order for people to stay at home, which will run until May 3.
Former Apple VP praises company approach
In an interview with the Yahoo, Apple’s former senior vice president of retail, Ron Johnson, praised the measures adopted by Apple to prevent the spread of COVID-19 both in China and in the rest of the world.
He points out that Apple’s proactivity in closing all Chinese stores early in the outbreak allowed them to gradually reopen over time.
Apple has a benefit. They are always proactive and thinking about the future. […] They did a lot of things to ensure security, if it was changing which programs are offered in the store, how many customers can enter a store at a time.
Johnson also predicts that the security measures currently in place in China will serve as a model for retailers to reopen in the U.S. (and worldwide, basically) when the time is right:
Apple is professional in providing secure services, and they are aware of what happened in China. I think in Cupertino they are starting to think, “How are we going to reopen, when are we going to reopen?” But they will only do this when it is safe. You know, they have the benefit of a very strong online store; therefore, if a customer needs an Apple product, they can buy online. They will want to reopen their stores, but they will not rush.
In fact, the focus of this moment is to think about people’s safety and health – exactly what Apple is doing, with primacy.