Apple plans to begin reopening its retail stores in the first half of April

Apple Iphone 11 Pro Apple Watch 5 Availability Ny Tim Cook And Deirdre O Brien
Apple Iphone 11 Pro Apple Watch 5 Availability Ny Tim Cook And Deirdre O Brien (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A new internal memo has leaked from Apple's SVP Deirdre O'Brien
  • The memo details Apple's plans moving forward for its retail stores.
  • The company hopes to begin to reopen stores beginning next month.

Apple's retail stores outside of Greater China have been closed to all customers for over a week now, and the company has been fulfilling all orders through delivery services. That may be close to changing, according to a new leaked memo obtained by 9to5Mac.

Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and People, Deirdre O'Brien, sent an internal memo to employees explaining the current situation of Apple retail and the path ahead. In the memo, O'Brien says that the company has now reopened all of its retail stores and offices in Greater China with the necessary precautions.

She goes further to say that retail stores outside of Greater China will begin to open on a "staggered basis" depending on the conditions in the community that the stores serve. O'Brien is hopeful that the company may be able to begin this process as early as the first half of April.

For employees who are currently on flexible work arrangements, O'Brien says that those are now extended until at least April 5th, at which point they will be evaluated on a weekly basis.

You can read the full memo from Deirdre O'Brien to employees below.

Team,First and foremost, I want to say thank you to our teams — all our teams, across every office, every store and every country — for pulling together and supporting one another during an unprecedented time. COVID-19 has changed many things, but it has not changed who we are: a collaborative and focused team that puts people at the center of everything we do.The same values that define us as a company are helping us through the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and response. To that end, I want to provide some updates.— I want to recognize our teams in Greater China, where the ongoing response to COVID-19 is still a part of everyday life. All of our Retail stores and offices have reopened with all the necessary measures in place. It's wonderful to have our teams there back together again.— 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 evaluated weekly depending on your location.— 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. We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established. We can't wait to welcome our teams and customers back.COVID-19 affects every community and every team differently, so moving forward, our teams will get new updates from their local leaders. Around the world, we're putting the health of our teams, customers and communities first. As always, you can check the dedicated page on the People site for the latest information. And if you have any questions, please work with your managers, People Business Partners or contact People Support.There are a lot of resources for our Apple teams to take advantage of — like how to set up a great home workspace, and tips on staying healthy, mind and body. We've also created leave policies to help our teams who have to take time off due to illness, or to care for a child or loved one affected by the outbreak.I'm so inspired by how our teams have been putting the Apple spirit of innovation to the task of working together while working remotely. And I'm immensely proud of our efforts to support the COVID-19 response: from our two-to-one match of employee contributions, to the millions of dollars and millions of vital masks we've committed to help patients, researchers, first responders and families around the world.Thank you for the resilience, empathy and support you continue to demonstrate for our colleagues and customers. I know all of us are sending our very best wishes to our Apple team members and their families who are directly affected by COVID-19.Deirdre

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.