Milan Apple Store.jpgSource: Stephen Warwick/iMore

What you need to know

  • The head of Apple retail says she expects many more Apple stores to reopen in May.
  • That's according to her latest weekly video update to staff.
  • Currently, only stores in China and South Korea are open.

Apple's head of retail has told staff she expects many more of its stores to reopen in May.

According to Bloomberg:

Apple Inc.'s retail chief told staff that she expects the company to reopen "many more" of its retail stores in May after closing all locations outside of China in March due to Covid-19. Deirdre O'Brien, vice president of retail and people, made the disclosure in a weekly video update, according to retail employees familiar with the matter. She didn't specify which stores or regions, but said: "we are continuing to analyze this health situation in every location, and I do expect we will reopen up many more stores in May." The company declined to comment.

The report notes that there is no indication as to which markets and regions Apple may be able to reopen first. It can certainly be expected that Apple will have to adhere to national and regional guidance depending on the country in question. In the U.S. for example, there are signs that some restrictions are being relaxed or lifted, the same is true of Italy. In the UK however, there is currently no indication from the government as to when stores that are not deemed essential will be allowed to reopen.

Some Apple store employees are working to provide tech support from home. Apple also recently reopened it's Seoul Store in South Korea, and is currently operating limited opening hours. Even when stores do reopen, there are likely to be measures in place to protect staff and customers. In Seoul customers were told to remain at a safe distance from one another, and admissions into the store were limited to a certain number at any one time. Customer temperatures were also taken, and anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough, fever, or breathing trouble as well as anyone who had been in contact with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease were not permitted inside.

If O'Brien is correct, we could see Apple stores across the world beginning to reopen over the next few weeks.