After nearly two months of closures, all but one of Apple’s retail stores in Australia have reopened. The country’s coronavirus mitigation strategy has so far proved successful, allowing it to be among the first regions where Apple feels confident to welcome customers back inside and store teams back to work. Apple Stores in a world warped by the coronavirus look and operate differently, but it’s all in the name of safety.
With 21 of 22 locations in Australia open, there are now 75 Apple Stores open around the world. It’s a far cry from the 510 stores Apple normally operates, but the path back to some sense of normalcy is within sight. Store reopenings began in China, where Apple established a set of guidelines virtually overnight that have been time-tested since February. A lucky few stores in Greater China never needed to cease operation.
Prior to today, reopenings outside of China occurred on a very small scale. South Korea’s only Apple Store reopened on April 18. Austria’s lone location sprang back to life on May 5. Masks have been a staple of public spaces in China for years, but a cultural shift is still underway elsewhere. Australia marks the first large-scale test of Apple’s reopening strategy in a world struggling to come to terms with a new normal