Apple will begin opening stores in the U.S. next week, starting in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska.
Given Apple’s vast resources, its reputation as a retail visionary, and the close eye it’s kept on the coronavirus since it first emerged in China, the company’s actions could provide a look at what’s to come when retailers in the United States eventually begin to reopen.
“They have set the pace for the market,” Leslie Hand, vice president of the International Data Corporation’s Retail Insights, said, referring to Apple. “I think as we go forward, other retailers will look to make sure they’re in the same place.”
In Apple Stores that are open [in South Korea, Austria, and Australia], the company is asking that patrons maintain social distancing of two meters, wear face coverings while in the store, and consent to temperature checks. Because of the social distancing rules, fewer customers will be able to fit in an Apple Store at a given time, meaning there may sometimes be a wait to get into the store.
My take: Welcome to retail in the age of COVID. There will be lines.