Apple Temporarily Closes Retail Stores To Help Combat Coronavirus

by Leah Groth
Apple Closes Coronavirus
JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Apple, Patagonia, and Glossier have all announced the temporary closing of their stores

Apple is just one of the many companies and individuals who are doing their part in the worldwide battle against coronavirus. On Friday, after President Donald Trump declared a state of national emergency due to the pandemic, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that, in addition to making a large financial contribution toward worldwide recovery, they will close the doors to all Apple stores around the world outside of China.

“In our workplaces and communities, we must do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Cook tweeted on Friday. “Apple will be temporarily closing all stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and committing $15M to help with worldwide recovery.”

In an accompanying press release written by the CEO, he explained how it is all of our duty to rally together in a universal front.

“The global spread of COVID-19 is affecting every one of us. At Apple, we are people first, and we do what we do with the belief that technology can change lives and the hope that it can be a valuable tool in a moment like this,” Cook wrote. “Teachers are innovating to make remote lessons come alive. Companies are experimenting with new ways to stay productive. And medical experts can diagnose illnesses and reach millions with critical updates in the blink of an eye. We are all adapting and responding in our own way, and Apple wants to continue to play a role in helping individuals and communities emerge stronger.”

Cook continued: “But this global effort — to protect the most vulnerable, to study this virus, and to care for the sick — requires all of our care, and all of our participation.” He then detailed the company’s plan of attack, which includes a $15 million monetary donation to date, as well as a pledge to match employee donations “two-to-one” in order to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally.

Additionally, Apple will continue paying their hourly workers, and those who work in the office will be “moving to flexible work arrangements.”

But that’s not it. “We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures,” Cook said.

“There is no mistaking the challenge of this moment,” he added. “The entire Apple family is indebted to the heroic first responders, doctors, nurses, researchers, public health experts and public servants globally who have given every ounce of their spirit to help the world meet this moment. We do not yet know with certainty when the greatest risk will be behind us.”

“And yet I have been inspired by the humanity and determination I have seen from all corners of our global community,” Cook continued. “As President Lincoln said in a time of great adversity: ‘The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.’ That’s always how Apple has chosen to meet big challenges. And it’s how we’ll rise to meet this one, too.”

Apple is not the only company to close the doors to its stores.

Patagonia also announced in a memo on Friday they would be temporarily closing up shop. Their 37 stores will be closed at least until March 27, and they will provide an update on the rest of their operation in the next week.

“As COVID-19 spreads — and is now officially a pandemic — we are taking additional safety measures to protect our employees and customers,” they wrote. “The scale of impact is still unknown, and we want to do our part to protect our community especially while testing availability is unknown.”

Like Apple, they will continue paying their workers during the closure.

Cosmetics company Glossier, also announced their decision to close their stores, with founder and CEO Emily Weiss explaining her decision in a thoughtful letter.

“To everyone reading: We’re not alarmists, we’re realists,” she wrote. “While this may not be the right decision for every company, it’s the one where we feel we can make an impact. To fellow business owners, remember your core values during this time — this is when they matter most.”

As of Saturday, the coronavirus has spread to 49 out of 50 states in America. At least 2,195 cases have been confirmed domestically with 49 deaths.