Apple said on Thursday that it will reopen its store in Seoul, South Korea this week as part of a broader push to resume physical retailing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bloomberg. There are no concrete plans yet to reopen stores elsewhere, although Apple has said in the past that it could start reopening of stores in the US. sometime in May.
Apple initially closed its stores in mainland China earlier this year, and then closed all 458 other locations around the world in March, with a March 27 deadline that has been extended indefinitely since the virus has spread. deteriorated. The closings have affected Apple’s ability to make in-store returns, provide Genius Bar support, and sell inventory that includes both its own products and those of third-party partners.
“South Korea has made great strides in the spread of COVID-19,” Apple said in a statement Bloomberg. South Korea, with more than 51 million inhabitants, has just over 10,500 confirmed cases and only 229 deaths. The country’s success in curbing the virus is why Apple is now comfortable opening its only store in the South Korean capital. Last month, Apple also reopened all 42 stores it has in mainland China.
According to BloombergApple will keep the store on shorter hours “to help keep customers and employees healthy,” and the focus will be on providing product support rather than sales, with Apple urging customers to use in-store ordering and collection for those interested in buying products.