Apple shares gained 2% to around $314 in early trading Monday after the tech giant outlined plans to reopen 25 of its U.S. stores.
After being forced to close for two months due to COVID-19, stores in California, Florida and Hawaii are reopening this week, leading the effort of retailers decimated by the pandemic to get back on their feet. Apple operates 271 stores in the U.S. It has now reopened 100 stores worldwide after being among the first retailers to close in China and elsewhere as the impact of the coronavirus began to be felt in February.
In a letter to customers, the company on Sunday detailed various steps it is taking in order to reopen. The measures, which will vary according to the specifics of each venue, include temperature checks, required facecoverings, extensive cleaning, capacity limits and curbside pickup.
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“The response to COVID‑19 is still ongoing, and we recognize that the road back will have its twists and turns,” SVP of retail and people Dierdre O’Brien wrote in the letter. “But whatever challenges lie ahead, COVID‑19 has only reinforced our faith in people — in our teams, in our customers, in our communities.”
The reopenings in the U.S. will occur in a few populous areas, including Seattle, Orlando and California cities like Sacramento and San Luis Obispo. The new wave follows an initial handful of stores that turned their lights back on May 11 in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska, all states with comparatively low tolls from the pandemic.
Shares in Apple have returned in recent days to levels last seen in February, when it set an all-time, split-adjusted high of $327.85. Despite the global impact of the pandemic, sales in the first quarter Apple last month reported revenue growth of 1% to $58.3 billion.
Major stock indices surged Monday on news of a successful clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine as well as bullish sentiment on liquidity and the capabilities of U.S. businesses by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
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