Tech giant Apple has now reopened all 270 of its retail locations in the U.S. in some capacity, nearly a year after shutting them down indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Apple on March 13, 2020, had announced the closure of all Apple Stores outside of China as a precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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On Monday (March 1), Apple retail locations in Texas in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas are now open, the last stores in the U.S. to reopen. Tech news site 9to5Mac first reported the reopening of all Apple Stores in the U.S.
Over the course of 2020, starting last May, Apple had begun to reopen some locations, with a number of safety protocols in place.
In the year-end 2020 quarter, even with some of its physical stores still not open for business, Apple posted its biggest-ever quarterly sales after the launch of the iPhone 12, with $111.4 billion in revenue, up 21% year over year, smashing Wall Street expectations.
According to Apple, at Apple Store locations that have fully reopened for shopping and Genius Support, there may still be “short wait times” before customers are allowed to enter the store. Face masks are still required for all employees and customers at every Apple Store, and locations are requiring temperature checks before entering. “To maintain physical distancing, we are limiting store occupancy and giving everyone lots of room,” the company says on its site, noting that not all stores have resumed “full operations.”
In addition, Apple has reduced the number of products on display in stores so “customers can shop and browse while maintaining a safe distance between themselves and others.”
Outside the U.S., several Apple Stores in France and Brazil remain closed while the two retail locations in Mexico City are slated to reopen March 2.
Meanwhile, Microsoft last summer announced the decision to shut down all 83 of its retail locations worldwide, citing the shift in direct sales to digital channels.
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