Apple has re-opened more than half of its retail stores in China after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to temporarily shut down all of the corporate offices and outlets earlier in February.
According to Bloomberg, 29 of the 42 Apple Stores in China were open yesterday:
Apple’s retail footprint in China is critical to the company’s sales. The store closures were one of two main reasons for Apple saying it wouldn’t meet its revenue target of at least $63 billion in the current quarter ending in March.
Plus, the current COVID-19 outbreak is the reason why Apple has yet to give a new revenue forecast beyond cautioning previously that it wouldn’t be able to meet its previous quarterly guidance due to the virus situation.
A quick inspection of Apple’s retail website reveals that most of the re-opened locations are still operating on shortened hours. For example, some stores are open for fewer than eight hours versus their typical 12-hour day, depending on location. Apple also wants customers to wear a mask and take a temperature test before entering a reopened retail store.
AppleInsider has more:
Thirteen Apple retail locations in China remain closed, including stores in Shanghai International Trade iapm, Nanjing Jinmaohui, Suzhou, Hangzhou Vientiane City, West Lake, Xiamen New Life Plaza, Tahoe Plaza. All Apple retail stores in Tianjin and Chongqing, each of which hosts three outlets, are still shuttered.
Apple hasn’t said when the remaining stores will reopen beyond noting that operating hours in some sores will return to normal as early as the end of this week or early March.
China is Apple’s second-largest market by revenue: in the previous quarter, the company reported $13.6 billion in Chin revenue, accounting for nearly fifteen percent of its total revenue for the quarter.
Besides, most of Apple’s suppliers are from China, makes the Cupertino tech company extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus situation there as opposed to Samsung which predominantly uses suppliers and facilities in Vietnam and Korea to assemble its products.
Making matters worse, some Apple stores in China remain closed, affecting Apple’s sales in the region. Moreover, the company is temporarily experiencing constrained global iPhone supply because of low employee turnout at Apple’s suppliers.
Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer, has begun providing incentives for workers to return to its assembly plants in China’s Shenzhen and Chengzhou. Summing up, many analysts are expecting some short-term losses but most believe longterm effects to Apple’s business will be negligible.
The coronavirus has so far infected over 80 thousand people worldwide, with the global death toll at 2,698 as of today, according to the World Health Organization. There were 156 new deaths and 715 new cases in the past 24 hours alone.
The virus continues spreading around the world, with Italy being hit particularly hard in the past few days as the country’s authorities today urged calm after it was confirmed that seven patients have died so far.
According to Business Insider, more than $200 billion was erased from market caps of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook in yesterday’s trading as investors braced for the coronavirus to escalate into a pandemic.
AAPL dropped 4.75 percent today amid a broader decline in other stocks and a 1,000-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — all because of the COVID-19 scare.
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