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Apple could start reopening retail stores in May

Apple will start to reopen “many” stores next month, according to a new report by Bloomberg citing a recent update made by one of the company’s vice presidents.

Deirdre O’Brien, VP of retail and people, is believed to have told employees that retail stores in regions heavily affected by the coronavirus will open at some point in May.

The comments were made in a weekly update by Apple for its employees, many of whom have not been to work since the decision was made to close all stores outside of Greater China in mid-March.

Those present for the video said that O’Brien did not divulge any specific dates or times but noted that Apple was “continuing to analyze this health situation in every location”.



She added that she expected “many more stores” to reopen in May as the retail industry starts to get back to some sort of normality following the lockdowns and stringent social distancing guidelines enforced in Europe, Asia and the US.

Bloomberg’s report revealed that some retail staff have been taking part in online training and meetings during the last two weeks in readiness for the reopening.

It follows a four-week period when retail employees were largely dormant, though a few have been offering customer service online.

Looking ahead to next month, Apple is set to take local conditions and recommendations in each country, state and city into consideration before giving the green light for trading to begin at brick-and-mortar stores.

Apple has only managed to open up one store thus far, the Garosugil outlet in South Korea, though that was with reduced hours and services, temperature screening for visitors, and order pick-ups being prioritised.

While China was the first to experience the virus, all 42 Apple stores there have been open with limited hours since March.

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