Apple Will Begin to Reopen U.S. Stores in Four States
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. will start reopening U.S. retail stores next week, beginning in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska.
The company said Friday it will require “additional safety procedures, including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy.”
Apple said its primary focus in the stores will be providing technical support to customers forced to work and attend school from home amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The iPhone maker’s Boise, Idaho, location will become the first U.S. reopening on Monday, while some of the five stores in the other three states will let in people later in the week, Apple said.
“Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will,” the company said in a statement. “As local guidance varies around the U.S. there may be slight modifications to our procedures.”
Apple said it will allow customers to schedule product pickups at the reopened stores. The company has more than 270 stores in the U.S., and Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook previously told Bloomberg News that they would re-open on a city-by-city basis beginning in mid-May.
The company said its “new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers” and that it recommends customers buy products online.
Apple shares gained 2.1% on the news, closing at $310.13 in New York.
Apple’s stores in all other regions outside of China, including Japan, U.K. and Canada, remain closed. The company has more than 500 retail stores worldwide.
Retail chief Deirdre O’Brien said last month that she expected “many more” locations to re-open during May.
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