Even though the pandemic saw many retailers downsizing their operations, Apple definitely isn’t one of them, according to a new report from Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe.
- The first Apple store opened in May 2001.
- Apple currently has 511 retail locations globally.
- It’s confirmed plans to open more physical stores.
Apple confirms new retail stores are coming
Bloomberg cites the Funke report which says that the Cupertino technology giant will continue opening new physical stored around the world despite the global pandemic and a shift to online sales that have already hurt many retailers.
The write-up underscores that stores in inner cities are struggling with an accelerating shift to sales online during the coronavirus pandemic. Apple also happens to run a very successful online store—one of the first modern online stores to appear on the web—but physical stores give people an opportunity to actually experience new technology in person.
Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s SVP of Retail and People, told Funke:
On our online site people can learn a lot about the products; in a store they can touch them and get a feel for them. We intend to add more stores.
And this bit from the Bloomberg report:
Apple this year announced it would invest about 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in Munich to build a center for computer chip design. The company will ‘undoubtedly’ add to this, O’Brien said.
Apple recently opened a beautiful new brick-and-mortar store on Rome’s Via del Corso.
A Steve Jobs tour of the very first Apple store
The iPhone maker opened its first store in May 2001, with then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs appearing in a promotional video (embedded right ahead) and talking about the concept of the store. Unlike the vast majority of retail stores, the Apple Store would be a place to visit, mingle with other customers, get free advice and more, all without being pushed into buying anything.
Today, the company has 511 brick-and-mortar stores globally, of which number 270 are located in the US and 241 are overseas. Many of these physical stores have been closed in 2020 because of the health restrictions and lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Every Apple store continues to take extra safety measures to protect the health of walk-in customers. The measures include mandatory face masks, limiting store occupancy, physical distancing, continuous deep cleaning, temperature checks and more.