Apple said on Friday that they are temporarily closing a few stores again in the United States in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, and North Carolina (reported by Bloomberg), as new cases of coronavirus continue to rise in the country. The company’s stock, which said the closure in these states would affect 11 stores, were down 0.5 per cent. Apple had intended to reopen about 100 US stores at the end of May, mainly with curbside pickup but a few with walk-in service, as lock-down restrictions started to ease.
In March the company closed all its stores outside mainland China as the coronavirus pandemic spread. In May, it began reopening US stores, with some offering only roadside or storefront service and not permitting inside customers. Stores which were open to customers conducted temperature controls and allowed employees and customers to wear face masks.
“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” said an Apple representative. “We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation, and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”
Stores are closing June 20 including two in North Carolina, Southpark and Northlake Mall; two in Florida, Waterside Shops and Coconut Point; one in South Carolina, Haywood Mall; and six in Arizona, Arrowhead, SanTan Village, Scottsdale Corner, Chandler Fashion Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square and La Encantada.
US COVID-19 cases reached 2 million last week, and some areas are now recording a rise in cases as lockout orders relax, and companies begin to resume. Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has Said on June 12 that the recent spike in new coronavirus cases is not a second wave.
Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s retail manager, had said in a letter to Apple customers in May that the company should look at data locally, and that re-closures were a possibility based on that data.
“These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant,” O’Brien had said.