June 15, 2021 marks the first day every single Apple Store in the world has been simultaneously open in over 75 weeks. Health and safety precautions, regional lockdowns, and recurring COVID-19 spikes have challenged Apple Retail operations since the start of the pandemic.
All 511 active Apple Stores globally are operating today in some capacity, many offering in-store shopping and browsing without an appointment and others open for pickup of online orders only, according to a check of every store location on Apple’s website conducted Tuesday morning. Cross-referenced with extensive store hour data compiled daily since early 2020, I can verify that June 15 marks the first day every current store has been collectively operational since at least January 4, 2020.
How did we get to today? The story actually begins before the pandemic made headlines. On January 5, 2020, Apple Sydney in Australia temporarily closed for renovations. Work in Sydney overlapped with the first Apple Store in China closing due to COVID-19 on January 28, 2020. Every Apple Store outside of greater China closed starting March 14, 2020.
The rest of 2020 was a whirlwind of store closures, reopenings, new service models, and cycle after cycle of closing and reopening again — up to four times for one store. Every Apple Store had reopened at least once by October 25, 2020, but never at any point was the entire fleet operational. Every location in the US was simultaneously open on March 1, 2021.
Apple Jewel Changi Airport temporarily closed on May 13, 2021 due a COVID-19 outbreak at the airport and reopened yesterday. Every Apple Store was finally set to open on June 14, but last minute temporary closures at Apple Lenox Square and Apple Río Shopping pushed the timeline back to today. On June 24, Apple Tower Theatre will officially join the fleet and become store 512.
The Apple Store experience you remember from before the pandemic is quickly returning. In the US, Express storefront shopping has disappeared entirely and health screenings are no longer required. In most cases, this means you can walk in and browse freely without a shopping appointment. Starting today at select stores, face masks are no longer required for vaccinated customers.
Apple may still choose to close or modify services at some of its stores in the future based on local health conditions, but today is another great milestone in the return to a full shopping experience.
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