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Apple says ‘a few’ US retail stores could reopen in May

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Apple expects to begin reopening extra of its shops in Might, after shutting down places outdoors of China because of the coronavirus pandemic. Shops in Australia and Austria may reopen within the subsequent two weeks, Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner told Bloomberg. “A couple of” shops may reopen within the US within the first half of Might as properly, Cook dinner added, however “not a big quantity.”

The selections might be made location by location, “relying on the circumstances in that specific place,” Cook dinner mentioned. Apple has 458 shops outdoors of China, in keeping with Bloomberg.

Apple closed all shops outdoors of Better China in March and has since mentioned shops will keep closed “till additional discover”. Apple reopened a single retailer in South Korea in mid-April, however it hadn’t beforehand introduced particular reopening plans past that.

Earlier this week, Apple’s retail chief Deirdre O’Brien mentioned she anticipated to reopen “many extra” shops in Might, according to Bloomberg. Apple initially closed all retail shops in China, the place the pandemic hit earlier, in February, however it was in a position to reopen these places in the midst of March.

The shop closures have offered apparent issues for Apple and its clients. Past the dearth of gross sales, it’s additionally disrupted one in all Apple’s key customer support choices: a spot the place clients can get repairs or units arrange, often pretty rapidly. In the interim, some clients have repaired units caught contained in the shops that they’re unable to retrieve because of the closures.

Retailer closures have meant a success to Apple’s Apple Care enterprise, too, and Cook dinner mentioned extra clients have began purchasing on-line. He’s undecided that shift to on-line purchasing will final, although. “Whether or not that’s a everlasting shift, I’d hesitate to go that far,” Cook dinner mentioned on an earnings name this afternoon. “I feel individuals wish to be out and about, they only know that now just isn’t the time to do this.”

Apple additionally expects to maintain its Cupertino headquarters closed till at the very least early June, Cook dinner advised Bloomberg. When it reopens, the corporate plans to have temperature checks, social distancing and masks necessities, and doubtlessly testing for workers.

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