Apple has closed all of its retail stores outside of China until further notice. The company announced the decision via a banner on the homepage of its website, claiming that ‘fast and free delivery’ would still be available to online shoppers.
Apple’s Chinese stores are open having closed for around a month after the initial coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Bloomberg reported that Apple will be putting signs outside all of its approximately 460 stores outside of China to notify shoppers of store-specific closures. The publication said the sweeping global closures are affected by many countries’ isolation and social distancing policies following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Given the nature of Apple Stores where products are permanently displayed as working models for the public to demo, Apple is likely to have made the move on health grounds also in order to help stop the spread of the virus.
iPhone supplies have already started to feel the squeeze as Apple’s supply chains are affected by the global pandemic. The company also moved its entire WWDC event to an online-only format instead of holding its regular meet up of thousands in June.