After a brief respite this summer, Apple’s retail stores are returning to pandemic mode.
Almost half of the Apple retail stores in the United States are curtailing retail operations and offering new express storefronts to deal with the growing COVID-19 outbreak.
Express storefronts are a temporary way for Apple to efficiently serve customers in regions where in-store sales and support are unsafe due to local COVID-19 conditions.Apple SVP Deirdre O’Brien
Instead of a blanket order to close all stores, Apple takes a metered approach and is monitoring local cases. Stores in areas severely impacted by COVID-19 are being temporarily closed, while stores in less severe areas are still serving customers without allowing them inside the store.
These new express storefronts have a shielded pickup window where customers can safely receive their orders. Express storefront customers are able to avoid contact with other customers and minimize contact with employees.
Not all Apple retail stores will be outfitted with this pickup window. Those stores that don’t have a pickup window instead will use an outside pickup option. In some locations, store employees are delivering all customer packages to the mall entrance. In other places, store personnel is meeting customers in the predefined parking lot spaces via a curbside pickup service.
Apple SVP Deirdre O’Brien confirmed earlier this year that 50 locations worldwide would adopt this new Express storefront service by the end of October. The retailer also planned to roll out this Express Storefront to 125 of its 270 stores in the United States.
You can visit Apple’s retail web page to see if your retail location is open for in-store service or if it is offering one of these contactless pickup options.