An internal document from Apple sent to retail employees states the reopening dates for the Apple Stores outside China. The document states that Apple will start reopening stores in early April, probably about the 5th of April as the first day of reopening. As with Apple’s way of reopening multiple stores in China a month ago, the company will reopen the stores slowly depending on the number of coronavirus cases in the city, including the severity of the community from the public health department.
The internal memo obtained by Bloomberg pointed out that the Apple Stores may possibly reopen in early April if the outbreak is not as severe in the store’s location. The Cupertino company states, “We will reopen our stores on a staggered basis. At this time, we anticipate some stores may be able to open in the first half of April depending on the conditions in their community. We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established.” Based on the document, Apple will communicate with store managers, state and county public health authorities and the cities to determine whether a store reopening is sufficient for its customers and employees. Then the company will let the management teams of the stores know when exact reopening dates are declared. As of now, the Apple Stores outside China are supposed to reopen this Friday 27 March, but it has been extended until further notice as of last Wednesday.
On the other hand, Apple Head of Retail + People, Deirdre O’Brien, sent an email to Apple Store employees that they are continuing to work remotely until the 5th of April. After that date, the stores will reopen, with a few locations at a time. Apple will also reevaluate the arrangements set forth on their retail employees’ work from home plans weekly, depending on the employee’s store location.
All customers returning items brought from Apple Stores excluding loaner iPhones have an extended return policy all the way to 2 weeks after the reopening of the Apple Store locations. Genius Bar appointments can also be booked once the stores reopen including store pickups. Still, if Apple fans are considering to travel to Cupertino for the Apple Park Visitor Center, Apple Infinite Loop or to visit a fellow employee at Apple Park, they should not consider planning their spring break vacation to Northern California until the headquarters and the company stores reopen. All customers should abide by precautions and sanitise their hands and iPhones before and after visiting the Apple Store, even though the COVID-19 outbreak is still continuing to ramp up in cases.