Video: WSJ reveals how Apple store closures tracked COVID-19 in the U.S.

Chicago Apple Store
Chicago Apple Store (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The WSJ has published a new video.
  • It shows how Apple has lead the way in closing its retail stores in the U.S.
  • It also shows how Apple's closures can gauge the U.S. extent of the pandemic.

A new WSJ video has revealed how watching Apple and its store closures can show the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

WSJ says it has tracked store closures, case data, and official lockdown measures. Revealing how Apple has been one of the first retailers to close its stores, specifically in the United States.

As noted in the video, Apple is in a very fortunate position financially, whereby it doesn't need to rely on its stores being open to keep turning a profit during the crisis. Meaning Apple can afford to be a bit more liberal in the early closing of its stores if it thinks there is a risk. As the video notes, however, wherever Apple has closed stores, other retailers seem to have followed.

The video says that "in most instances" Apple's early shutdowns proved to be an indicator of rising individual cases, other stores closing, and government-mandated measures. Analyst Gene Munster also expressed his surprise at how much other companies had followed Apple's lead.

Deciding to close its stores comes down to a few factors, says WSJ. Case numbers, positivity rates, hospital capacity, asymptomatic testing, and more. Apple has even contacted health departments to request data that isn't publicly available.

As the video notes, Apple has reclosed many stores that were previously reopened in the U.S., including in Texas, Florida, California, and more. Where Apple has reclosed stores, COVID-19 cases have usually risen.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9