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Apple has reopened all of its US retail stores for the first time in nearly a year

Every Apple Store location in the US has reopened as of today, roughly two weeks prior to the anniversary of the first store closures due to the coronavirus pandemic that began on March 13th, 2020. The news, reported by 9to5Mac this morning, coincides with the last of Apple’s Texas retail stores reopening on Monday. 

Some stores are accepting visitors via appointment only, while others are limited to pickup of online orders or Genius Bar support through Apple Express storefronts, which use plexiglass barriers to separate customers and employees.

Apple first started closing down stores in the U.S. and other countries almost a year ago as the COVID-19 outbreak prompted businesses to go into lockdown mode. On March 14 of 2020, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that all stores outside of Greater China would be closed until March 27 as a result of the pandemic. A few days later that deadline was amended to say that the stores would be closed “until further notice.”

Starting in April of last year, Apple gradually tried reopening stores in areas such as South Korea, Austria and Australia. Stores in the U.S. began to reopen in May amid signs of a relief in the outbreak. But as the U.S. started to experience a second wave of infections, Apple decided to close several of the stores that had reopened, especially in states hardest hit by infections.

Apple began enacting its official reopening strategy in the US in early May and that carried on for months through the summer into the fall. Yet Apple has shown a willingness to act fast in responding to changing conditions. In December 2020, it shuttered every store in California and London as case numbers surged through the holidays. Early last month, Apple temporally closed every store in the UK.

Customers looking to visit a local Apple Store for shopping, support, or pickup should first check the store’s status and hours at its page on the Apple Store website. Apple is still encouraging people to order and purchase products online for delivery or express pickup.

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