Consumer Electronics

Apple Starts to Reopen Retail Stores

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to periodically close some of its stores for safety. The company made a decision to shutter a number as the disease surged in the spring. As another surge hit the nation recently, it closed down many again. Apple has started to reopen stores as infection increase rates across the U.S. have begun to fall, and as many cities and states have begun to ease restrictions.

Apple has about 300 stores in the U.S. These cover 44 of the 50 states. According to 9to5Mac:

Since February 8, Apple Stores in Alaska, Oregon, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, Delaware, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C. metro area have reintroduced shopping sessions. Locations in Manhattan, Hawaii, and Maine have continued to offer in-store service throughout winter.

Notably, the 9tofMac news website said that shopping online is safer (which is obvious).

Apple has an advantage over many other retailers. Of the tens of millions of iPhones, iPads, Macs and Watches it sells, a huge portion are already bought online. A large number are also sold at other retailers, which run from consumer electronics stores like Best Buy to wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Based on Apple’s most recent earnings, which showed a step up in revenue, the pandemic has had little or no effect on unit sales levels. As a matter of fact, there is evidence that the new iPhone 12 may be the best-selling iPhone in history. The fact that it is the first Apple iPhone to work on new superfast 5G networks means there is likely to be a sales surge for some time.

If any group benefits as much or more than Apple as its stores reopen it is the shopping areas and malls where these are located. Apple is considered an “anchor tenant,” which means the traffic it produces benefits other retailers in close-by locations.

Sometime later in the year, if current national vaccination plans work, all Apple stores will reopen.

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