Apple to Close All Retail Stores Outside of China Until March 27th

Apple today announced that it is closing all of its retail locations outside of Greater China until March 27 due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, which means Apple Stores worldwide will be shuttered for the next two weeks.

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In a letter letting customers know about the store closures, Tim Cook says that China has taught us that the most effective way to minimize the risk of the coronavirus's transmission is to reduce population density and maximize social distance, which is why Apple Stores are closing. Apple had already closed all of its stores in Italy and Spain, but stores in other countries like the United States have remained open until now.

As of today, all of our stores in Greater China have reopened. I also want to thank our operations team and partners for their remarkable efforts to restore our supply chain. What we’ve learned together has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.

One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.

We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27.

Cook says that customers who need to purchase devices or accessories can do so on Apple's website or through the Apple Store app. Customers who need service and support can use Apple's support site.

Apple plans to continue to pay its hourly workers during the store closures and has expanded leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19, including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges.

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Top Rated Comments

hagar Avatar
55 months ago
i truely hope this disaster will lead to the end of wet markets in China where people sell and slaughter wildlife. If not to end animal suffering and pushing species to the brink of extinction, then at least to avoid global catastrophes like this. The economic impact will be dramatic. Not to mention the consequences for Apple‘s stock.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msp3 Avatar
55 months ago
The irony is in China of all places the Apple Stores are open
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DoctorApple Avatar
55 months ago
MacRumors is staying up late for breaking news.
Apple sure likes to dump news like this that affects their bottom line on Friday evenings.

That said, I really hope that this sends a clear message to those in doubt of the seriousness of the situation.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nicho Avatar
55 months ago

I think it could really go either way, it's a great time to broadcast something like that.
Online-only is also a great way to launch a product when supplies are tight. No need to divert thousands of each SKU to retail stores (or worse, 3rd party retailers!) with no idea of eventual demand and ensuing frustration. Just make and ship, make and ship.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nickosbad Avatar
55 months ago
Hardly surprising given the fact every device in the store gets touched by hundreds of people every day.....no way they can keep those screens clean all day long and Apple wouldn't want a localised outbreak linked to one of their stores!!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr Perfect Avatar
55 months ago

The irony is in China of all places the Apple Stores are open
Maybe not quite as ironic, just at different points on the timeline.
The China stores were closed and reopened.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)