Apple has re-opened all 270 of its retail stores across the United States, as reported by Reuters. This is the first time that all of them have been open in nearly a year, since many had been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that caught the world off guard in early 2020.
Despite the announcement, the pages for each of the 271 store locations across the U.S. indicate that you can't just walk into a store to go shopping. All of them will allow customers to go in to pick up online orders and for Genius Support, while some also allow users to reserve a session with an Apple Specialist if they're looking to buy a new device. You can find your closest Apple Store and see what services are available there.
It was on March 14, 2020, that Apple announced it would be closing every one of its retail stores outside of Greater China. In the following months, some stores were re-opened in certain parts of the world, and some ended up being closed again as new waves of infections sprung up.
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about some unpredictability, and beyond store closures, many companies began allowing employees to work from home and switched to virtual events, which we're still seeing this year. Companies like Google and Microsoft have extended work-from-home practices for a few more months in 2021, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has suggested that some of the changes imposed by COVID-19 may become permanent going forward.
While recovery from the pandemic has been slow, vaccination efforts have begun ramping up in a number of countries, so we may start to see more businesses opening back up in the near future. Hopefully, we won't see these re-openings being reversed yet again.
Editor's note: The article has been updated with some additional information on store availability in the second paragraph.