Although Apple expected to reopen its retail stores in China in February, the ongoing coronavirus crisis could keep them closed for longer than that.
Apple’s Deirdre O’Brien has written to Apple Store staff in China to explain the firm’s plans for reopening Chinese retail locations. Currently, Apple offices and 42 stores are closed because of the coronavirus.
According to the note by O’Brien, seen by MacGeneration Apple is continuing to work with health experts and will be supplying further updates as the expected reopening date grows near.
Team, I want to thank every one of you for the care, flexibility and spirit you have shown over the past few weeks. Around the world, the entire Apple family stands committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China as they care for their health and return to daily life. Apple’s support for the global coronavirus response is broad and ongoing, including our donation to the public health effort.
Since my last note, we have been in constant consultation with public health experts, government authorities and our teams and leaders in China. In light of those conversations, I want to share new information about Apple’s workplaces.
We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.
Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.
Individual business leaders will be reaching out to you soon with more information relevant to your work. In addition to your manager, your People Business Partner and People Support are your resource for any questions you may have. To stay up to date with Apple’s efforts, please continue to check the dedicated coronavirus page we’ve created on the People site.
As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.
Apple began closing its Chinese retail stores in January, closing all of its stores and offices in the country on February 1, with the expectation that they would reopen after February 9.
In related news, iPhone assembly partner Foxconn has now told staff at its Shenzen plant to not return to work next week and has not yet announced a return date.