Apple Inc., the mega consumer-tech company, will be reopening 25 of its stores in the United States during the week of May 18. This is a continuation of a re-opening process that is beginning slowly at Apple, and all over the country, to bring commerce back and get the economy back in gear. As of mid-May, Apple has re-opened about 20% of its stores worldwide.
The innovative company closed all its stores outside of Greater China in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic that was wreaking havoc throughout the world.
“Our commitment is to reopen our stores when we are confident the environment is safe,” wrote Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s head of retail, on the company’s website.
Although the stores will re-open, they will not go back to business the way it was before the pandemic started. Stores will limit the number of customers in at any one time; social distancing—maintaining a distance of at least 2 meters between customers—will be enforced, and some stores will have only curbside or storefront pickup.
Apple openings began last week with five stores in the US. Customers and employees were required to wear masks and have their temperatures checked before entering the stores.
The company has 271 stores in the United States and 239 outside the US. It was reported that Apple will also open 10 stores in Italy, beginning on May 19.