Apple to Close Retail Stores Outside China Through 3/27

Apple to Close Retail Stores Outside China Through 3/27

If you’d planned on getting your Apple device repaired, you’ll have a few less options – 271, to be exact. Every Apple Store outside of China is closing through March 27.

The official Apple statement covers familiar ground – “maximizing social distance,” “reduce density” – plus future plans.

“In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China. That means team members should work remotely if their job allows,” it says.

What you may not know is that Apple’s China locations have already reopened. Good thing, because China’s responsible for around ¼ of the world’s manufacturing output, and they’ve already hit a major snag – China’s manufacturing purchasing manager index (PMI) in February was 35.7%, a decline of 14.3% from January and the lowest on record.

Regardless of your personal feelings towards the People’s Republic, a protracted delay from the world’s manufacturing epicenter could have serious global repercussions. To paraphrase everyone’s favorite axiom from the last major recession, China is literally too big to fail right now. And Apple’s resumption is a great head start towards relief.

In the States, Apple has pledged to cover hourly workers’ pay, and they’ve donated $15 million to the global COVID-19 response. Hopefully, their retail presence – and nationwide normalcy – comes back online soon.