Apple may start reopening stores in first half of April

apple stores reopen

apple stores reopen

Apple Inc told staff that some of its retail stores may reopen in April on a staggered basis and has extended remote work abilities for many employees through at least April 5.

The details were disclosed in a memo from Senior Vice President of People and Retail Deirdre O’Brien that was obtained by Bloomberg News. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the memo.

“For all of our retail stores outside of Greater China, 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,” O’Brien wrote. “We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established.”

Apple closed 458 of its retail stores outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan earlier this month on an indefinite basis as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. It previously closed its 42 China stores, but those have since all reopened.

The memo to employees also said that remote work would be extended after Apple’s global offices outside of China were closed earlier this month.

“In all our offices outside of Greater China, we are extending flexible work arrangements for all team members -- outside of those whose work requires them to be onsite -- through at least April 5, which will then be reevaluated weekly depending on your location,” O’Brien told staff in the memo sent this week.

O’Brien said Apple is “putting the health of our teams, customers, and communities first.” Apple was one of the first retailers to shut stores in response to the virus. It is donating millions of masks to health-care professionals and matching employee donations to the cause.