The COVID pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the retail industry, with many stores closing their doors due to flagging sales, reduced foot traffic, and COVID exposures. Now, Apple has been forced to close all of its locations in one state due to a serious uptick in COVID cases. For now, the company has not yet provided a date for reopening stores, telling customers in a statement simply that they hope to open again for business "as soon as possible." Read on to discover if an Apple Store in your area is affected, and for more major changes to your favorite shopping destinations, This One Thing Is Disappearing From Walmarts Nationwide.
Apple is temporarily closing all stores in Michigan.
On April 16, Apple issued a statement confirming that it would be temporarily shuttering all of its locations in Michigan. The company currently operates six stores in the state—in Troy, Clinton Township, Novi, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.
"Due to current COVID-19 conditions, we are temporarily closing our stores in Michigan," Apple announced in its statement, via local NBC New affiliate WILX. "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." And for the latest COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Michigan has seen its COVID numbers rise significantly in recent weeks.
Michigan has seen a major uptick in COVID cases in the last month alone. On March 19, the state had 655,758 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as per the state's COVID tracker. As of April 19, that number has ballooned to 793,881 confirmed cases, prompting experts to recommend drastic measures to stem the tide of new infections.
"When you have an acute situation, an extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine. In fact, we know the vaccine will have a delayed response. The answer to that is to really close things down…to go back to where we were last spring," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, in a White House briefing on April 12.
And for more on where numbers are worsening, These 9 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Spikes Right Now.
This isn't the first time Apple's implemented widespread store closures.
On March 13, 2020, Apple announced that it would be temporarily closing all of its stores outside of mainland China for two weeks. "We are all adapting and responding in our own way, and Apple wants to continue to play a role in helping individuals and communities emerge stronger. But this global effort—to protect the most vulnerable, to study this virus, and to care for the sick—requires all of our care, and all of our participation," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.
The company has since been forced to implement temporary closures in other states, as well. In Dec. 2020, Apple closed all of its California-based retail stores when COVID cases spiked in the state. "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," Apple said in a statement. And for another electronics brand that's closing up shop for good, This Beloved Chain Is Closing All Its Stores.
In March 2021, all of Apple's stateside stores were open for the first time in a year.
Nearly a year after Apple first closed its brick-and-mortar locations amid COVID, 9 to 5 Mac first reported that the company's full portfolio of 270 U.S. stores were open at once for the first time on March 1, 2021—nearly a full year later.
However, overseas, some of the company's retail stores are shuttered once again. On April 2, Apple closed all of its stores in France after the country's third national lockdown went into effect. And for some stores implementing more than just a temporary closure, These 3 Beloved Clothing Brands Just Filed for Bankruptcy.