Inside Apple’s Coronavirus Store Closure Strategies

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With Apple gradually reclosing many of its U.S. stores as coronavirus cases increase, The Wall Street Journal has taken a look at Apple’s strategies and criteria for deciding when and where to close stores, viewing the company as a retail bellwether.

As noted by analyst Gene Munster in the video, Apple’s massive cash reserves and its heavy online presence mean that the company can be more aggressive about closing its locations than many other retail companies. As a result, tracking the company’s store closures provides an interesting glimpse of what’s happening in various areas of the country and trends looking forward.

Apple shared a few specific details about its store closure criteria with The Wall Street Journal, noting that it takes into account the following factors from county-level data:

  • Case numbers
  • Positivity rates
  • Hospital, ICU and ventilator usage
  • Asymptomatic testing
  • Other factors

Apple says it uses publicly available data as much as possible, but if that data isn’t available, it will contact public health departments to request it.

Apple closed all of its retail stores outside of Greater China in mid-March, and in mid-May it began reopening most of its U.S. stores. Just a month later, however, Apple began reclosing many of its retail locations, and nearly half of its U.S. stores are currently closed.

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