In our latest news about Apple related to the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), we covered the plans to reopen some stores in Italy. With another 25 locations to reopen this week in the United States and 12 in Canada, Apple will be back up and running almost 100 stores around the world.
Given the current scenario, the senior vice president of retail + people Deirdre O’Brien published an open letter on the Apple website talking about the changes that have been and are being made in its stores to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
Here is a general summary of the measures:
- All Apple Store visitors will be required to wear masks or face shields, and Apple intends to provide this to consumers who do not have them.
- All visitors will have their temperature measured at the entrance to the stores, and if they have any suspicious symptoms (such as cough or fever) or have had recent contact with someone infected (thanks to the framework developed by Apple and Google) will go through a questionnaire with guidance on what to do.
- There will be a limit of people allowed at the same time inside the stores, in order to give space / distance to the customers who are there.
- Apple implemented extra cleaning / disinfection measures for all areas and products displayed in stores, done a few times a day.
- Consumers looking for products purchased online or leaving products for repair will be able to do so without having to actually enter the store in some locations.
According to O’Brien, Apple is in no hurry to reopen any stores:
Our commitment is only to proceed with the reopening when we are confident that we can safely return to serving our store customers. We analyze all available data – including local cases, short and long term trends, and guidance from national and local health authorities. These are not decisions we rush into – and opening a store in no way means that we will not take the preventive step of closing it again, if local conditions warrant it.
For now, there is no forecast when the two Brazilian stores – Apple Morumbi, in São Paulo; and Apple VillageMall, in Rio de Janeiro – will reopen, not least because this can only happen when the malls are released to work.
Apple today has 510 stores worldwide, meaning that about 80% are still closed.