Apple Closes All Retail Stores in Italy Due to Coronavirus [Updated]

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Apple is closing all of its retail stores in Italy as the coronavirus outbreak in the country continues to spread, with the stores set to be shuttered as of March 12.


Apple's website for Italian stores says that due to precautionary health measures currently in force, retail locations will remain closed until a later date. Italian customers are instructed to get online support for their devices.

The decision to close all Apple Stores in the country comes following a national quarantine enacted by the Italian government. People in Italy are required to stay in their homes except in situations of necessity for work and health circumstances.

All of the Apple Stores will be closed for the rest of the week, and it is not clear when they will reopen. Italy's mandatory quarantine will last through April 3, 2020.

Apple had previously closed stores in the most widely affected areas in Italy and was operating on reduced hours in some other locations. More than 12,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Italy, and there have been over 800 deaths.

Update: Apple has provided a statement on the store closures to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman: "As we support the work to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19, our priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities we serve. With that in mind, our stores in Italy will be closed until further notice. We understand customers may need support from Apple during this challenging time and we'll ensure our online and phone support, as well as online store, remain open for customers. We will closely monitor the situation and look forward to reopening our stores as soon as possible."

Update 2: Italy has ordered the closure of all stores in the country except for grocery stores and pharmacies.

Article Link: Apple Closes All Retail Stores in Italy Due to Coronavirus [Updated]
 
Last edited:

zed1291

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
189
218
NYC
I wonder if idle retail employees are able to help with the expanded phone support.
It is highly unlikely. The internal systems used by Retail employees and AppleCare are different. The systems do share data with each other (Retail can read notes AppleCare took and visa versa) but are still a different set of apps.

There is a process for approving access to a different set of internal tools (and former AppleCare employees or Retail who switch over don’t typically lose their old access) but the process is still a manual approval process. This would be tedious for Apple to do for an unknown (potentially short) period of time.

Former Genius: my information is accurate at least up until late 2019. I have many friends still at Apple and have not heard that anything has changed.
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
Although Apple Stores closing isn’t going to be a significant burden on anyone, imagine what it will be like if / when grocery stores and pharmacies start closing. Any kind of widespread store closings will not only have an immediate effect on those who rely on them for food and medicine, but there will be a ripple effect back to manufacturers supplying retail, shipping companies, etc.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,800
2,909
SF Bay Area
This is going to hurt sales (OUCH)
Sort term maybe. But people can still order online and get things delivered to their homes. And with Italy's virtual lock down the stores might pretty empty of shoppers anyway. At least this way the store staff does not have to ride transportation to get to a near empty store.
 

kevinthebright

macrumors member
Dec 4, 2013
32
36
Jesus, you have to close an entire country to get Apple to close its stores. In the meantime, people literally take the phone away from their mouth and hand it to an employee to fix. After a sizable number of people spend their disposable income on healthcare while hospitalized, Apple may realize they should have taken the lead on this.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
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The government just announced that only supermarkets and pharmacies can open for at least two weeks. Apple anticipated the decision by a few hours but many other retail shops decided to close before being forced by the government.
I feel for the small retails, many of them run by a family. Apple store employees won’t lose heir job, but many people will struggle if we don’t stop the virus and get back to normality soon.
 
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Peza19

Suspended
Nov 9, 2019
59
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I’m a little confused by this story I must say. The Italian government placed the entire country on complete lockdown as off Tuesday, including restricting people’s movements and closing businesses, so just how is Apple enabling its employees to work in its stores and is able to keep them open until tomorrow?
 
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biffuz

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2016
83
52
Actually there's a surge in computer sales. I just went to a large electronics store and the notebooks shelves were half empty. Also webcams! Looks like people isn't prepared for remote working.
 
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jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,800
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SF Bay Area
ALL stores in italy other than pharmacies, food markets, and banks, are now closed by law.
Wow! At least in some places they take controlling transmission of a disease for which humans have minimal resistance and for which no vaccines exist, seriously.
 
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fumi2014

macrumors regular
May 21, 2014
186
890
California
This story needs amending. Apple haven't taken this decision by themselves. The government has ordered all shops, pubs, restaurants to close. Only pharmacies remain open.
 
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dmylrea

macrumors 68030
Sep 27, 2005
2,901
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Of course it is, but does it really matter? How much cash on hand does Apple have? A lot. The money will come, just at a later date.

Thankfully they’re well off and can afford to still pay these employees and aren’t “doomed” by the loss of revenue.
You think Apple cares about cash? Their quarterly earning reports are all about STOCKHOLDERS! They are who matter. And the loss of sales will NOT make them happy.
 
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