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Apple Is Reopening Over 100 US Retail Stores This Week, Most With Curbside or Storefront Service Only

Michael Steeber, reporting for 9to5Mac:

While individual US state guidance varies, you can generally expect to be required to wear a mask and pass a temperature check to enter an Apple Store for the foreseeable future. The ability to browse is limited, with Apple emphasizing online sales and in-store support.

We recently analyzed the COVID-19 response of more than two dozen top retailers in comparison to Apple’s procedures. The new safety guidelines Apple has enforced for the protection of employees and customers are among the most stringent in the industry and have proven successful at reopenings around the world.

Josh Centers, writing at The Prepared last month, proposed The Apple Store Index as an indication of where it’s actually safe to reopen retail establishments, and to what degree.

And Apple is choosing to burn millions, possibly billions of dollars in cash to keep people safe. Because as much as closing its stores is costing the company, a pile of dead employees and customers will cost even more. And Apple, being a wildly successful business even in the worst economic conditions, can withstand a lot more pressure to re-open than any politician. While many governors are having their arms figuratively twisted by President Trump and angry protestors, no one will be calling for Tim Cook’s head until at least Apple’s Q2 earnings report, due on April 30, 2020. Even then, years of strong performance under Cook and his prior experience in dealing with shareholder uprisings will insulate him for a long time.

So for that reason, no matter what my governor says, I won’t consider stepping into a crowd until Apple gives the all-clear.

It’s worth noting that Apple’s retail reopenings in China have, by all accounts, gone well.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020