Apple Stores in the United States have been closed for a bit of time now, with the company saying the stores outside China would remain closed indefinitely on March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Well, indefinitely has an end date, apparently. According to a report from VentureBeat today, Apple is planning on reopening stores in the United States beginning in April. According to the report, the effort will start in the “first half” of April, with the news disclosed by Apple’s head of retail, Deidre O’Brien in a memorandum to employees recently.
According to the information at hand, the Apple Stores will be reopened in a “staggered” way. That means the entire workforce in the U.S. won’t be going back to work at Apple Stores on a single date.
Apple currently plans to begin the process of reopening brick and mortar locations on a staggered basis, rather than bringing the entire U.S. chain back at once. While the company has closed stores across multiple territories, it has continued to offer online ordering with free home delivery throughout the coronavirus outbreak, and has even launched new products — updated iPad Pro and MacBook Air models — despite regional shelter-in-place requirements for citizens. It previously moved to reopen stores and contract manufacturing facilities in China that were affected by an earlier coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
In areas where the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is worse will see Apple Stores remain closed for a bit longer. And while the indefinitely bit earlier was the language presented by Apple, the company’s original plan was to keep stores outside of China closed until March 27. So the company has apparently settled on a date in between March 27 and indefinitely.
As far as work from home efforts are concerned, O’Brien has informed employees that remote work plans will extend until April 5. Starting after that date, though, brick and mortar retail stores will start to reopen. Based on worker’s locations Apple will be reevaluating remote work on a weekly basis, so plans could change for those employees starting in early April.