On Sunday, Apple said it had reopened nearly 100 retail stores around the world, local time,media reported. The company said it would severely limit the number of customers entering the store, provide enough space for everyone and refocus on providing one-on-one personalized service. All employees and customers will be required to wear masks, and Apple will provide protection to customers who do not bring their own masks.
Here’s the full text of Apple’s open letter:
Since first responding to and adapting to the new coronavirus outbreak in January, Apple’s decision-making has been focused on caring: caring for our team, caring for our customers, caring for our community.
This means that we can continue to help as customers rely on our products in new ways. Today, more people continue to learn when we close our classrooms (at home), stay connected when we’re apart, stay creative when we all need more entertainment, and stay healthy when health is so important.
This means that we need to support public health responses in new ways, including Apple’s purchase of more than 30 million masks and 10 million custom masks for doctors and nurses, our design software to help users check for symptoms and help health workers inform health workers who may have been infected, and our collaboration with U.S. manufacturers to deploy more than 1 million test kits per week.
It also means taking unprecedented steps to close almost all of our retail stores around the world to protect the health and well-being of our customers and teams.
To date, nearly 100 of our stores around the world have been able to open their doors to our customers again. We want to share a little bit about how we deliver on our caring commitments: how it guides our decisions, what important things we are doing to ensure the safety of everyone who visits our retail stores, and how our retail stores will look a little different.
Ways to reopen
First, let’s recall how we got to this point. We were one of the first companies to close our retail stores in China and around the world. In Greater China, we see the importance of moving quickly and maintaining a safe distance to slow the spread of the virus. And, over time, we continue to refine and expand our in-store health and safety measures, which have proven to be so effective in places such as Greater China, where our retail stores have been operating safely for several months.
Our commitment is that our retail stores will reopen only where we are confident that we can safely serve our customers. We reviewed all available data, including local cases, recent and long-term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not our hasty decisions, and we take stringent precautions when reopening retail stores and even closing them again in some cases.
When the retail stores in your area do take these steps to reopen, you’ll find that the team before closing will also be back there, but it may look and feel a little different. First, you’ll find you have plenty of room. In every retail store, we focus on limiting the number of customers entering the retail store, leaving a lot of room for everyone, and focusing on providing one-on-one personalized service at Genius Bar and the entire retail store.
We have also taken some additional measures in most places. All of our teams and customers need to wear masks and we provide them without their own. Temperature screening will be carried out at the door, and posted health problems will screen people who have symptoms such as coughs or fever, or who have recently been exposed to a new coronavirus infection. We are strengthening deep cleaning and disinfection throughout the day, with special emphasis on the safety of all surfaces, display products and busy areas.
We also use this time to consider how we can more effectively meet our customers’ needs, both online and in our retail stores. For many retail stores, this will mean picking up goods on the side of the road. If you choose to buy online, we can ship to your home or make your new items easy to pick up at our retail stores. You can continue to find equally good customer service and support standards online and over the phone to help you resolve any possible problems.
Looking to the future
We continue to address the impact of the new coronavirus and recognize that the path to return to normality will be tortuous. But whatever the challenges ahead, the new virus will only strengthen our confidence in people, including our team, our customers, and the community. Along this path, as we reflect on the epidemic, we should always remember that there are so many people in the world who put the well-being of others at the centre of their daily lives. At Apple, we plan to promote these values, and we will always put the health and safety of our customers and teams first.
Thank you for everything you’ve done to support your response to the new coronavirus, whether it’s volunteering, donating, sharing gratitude for our medical staff, or keeping a safe distance to protect the health of our community.
I wish you good health, pay attention to safety, look forward to your visit!