Every Apple Store in the United States is open for the first time in nearly a year. It was 353 days ago — March 13, 2020 — that Apple closed all of its retail stores outside of Greater China.
While some Apple Stores offer in-store shopping appointments and others can accept Express pickup of online orders only, all 270 US locations are now open in some capacity as of March 1, 2021. Apple Stores in Texas around Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio were the last to reopen today.
Over the past 12 months, Apple Stores have weathered a rambling calendar of horrors that began when the pandemic hit. After starting to reopen from May 11, 2020, evolving health guidance and COVID-19 infection spikes forced some stores to reclose and reopen a second, third, or even fourth time.
If adapting and responding to new health and safety guidelines overnight wasn’t enough, Apple Stores were then confronted with looting and vandalism, an intense heatwave and wildfire smoke throughout California in the midst of curbside operations, Election Day and Inauguration Day security precautions, and severe winter storms in Texas that pushed back store reopenings in Austin by nearly a week.
US Apple Stores have reopened and closed again many times over the past year due to COVID-19.
To top it all off, rapidly evolving shopping trends and physical distancing have drained the life from many of the shopping centers and public squares Apple calls home. These are just a few of the most visible and intense challenges of the past 12 months. The miserable cocktail of unfortunate events has tested the spirits of Apple’s Retail teams and kept all US stores from reopening at any point before today.
In addition to reopening every store, Apple is also starting to offer in-store shopping at more US locations again after months of operation as Express storefronts. Twenty-one stores in California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and Utah reintroduced shopping sessions today. That’s on top of almost 50 locations last week, more than 40 the week before, and dozens in early February.
Today’s milestone doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. All Apple Stores still enforce health and safety guidelines that include reduced occupancy and a mask requirement. Apple continuously evaluates local COVID-19 conditions, and it’s highly possible that some stores could temporarily close or return to Express operations in the future.
Outside of the US, just over a dozen Apple Stores remain closed in France and Brazil. Apple Stores in Mexico reopen March 2.
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