Apple re-closes 11 U.S. retail stores total due to COVID-19 spikes

Apple said Friday it was temporarily re-closing 11 stores in four U.S. states — Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina — due to concern about COVID-19 spikes.

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Apple Retail Store

Max A. Cherney for Barron’s:

In a statement to Barron’s, Apple said that it was re-closing locations in Florida, North and South Carolina and Arizona, beginning Saturday. The company will close two stores in Florida and North Carolina, one store in South Carolina, and six stores in Arizona.

“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” a spokesman said in an email message. “We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”

In a note to clients Friday, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote that the temporary closures would have a negligible impact on demand in the near term.

“That said, Apple re-closing stores after re-opening many of these stores over the past month is a worrisome trend that speaks to the volatility and fluidity of this COVID environment as Cupertino (and other retailers) will continue to be cautious globally for its iconic Apple stores (and keeping employees safe) in case any spikes are seen in geographic pockets,” Ives wrote… Ives wrote in the note that 85% to 95% of Apple’s global iPhone, AirPods, and hardware sales are from the online channel.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re likely to see openings and closings of many retail outlets, not just Apple’s, fluctuate as COVID-19 spikes occur around the country and the world. Last month, Apple said they’d reopened 100 retail stores and they’ve continued to reopen outlets since then, so eleven locations is not really that many in the grand scheme of things. Apple currently has 511 locations, 271 of which are located in the U.S.

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