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Apple Look To Reopen Stores In April Blow To Partners

In what could be a blow to JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman Apple is considering the reopening of their stores in April they are also lifting their ban on volume sales of iPhones.

ChannelNews understands that key retail partners have seen a surge in traffic from Apple customers looking for new work at home MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.

Apple has also dropped its two-per-customer limit on online iPhone sales as the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to close its stores worldwide.

In a policy aimed at curbing the grey market for iPhones, Apple had previously limited customers to ordering only a pair of iPhones at a time. But as customers are locked out of brick-and-mortar stores, the retailer is now allowing them to purchase more than 10 iPhones.

Apple less than a month ago issues a revenue warning to investors, noting that it was being hurt by supply issues and weakened demand as the virus ravaged its Chinese operations.

The store reopening details were disclosed in a memo from Senior Vice President of People and Retail Deirdre O’Brien that was obtained by Bloomberg News. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the memo.

The memo to employees also said that remote work would be extended after Apple’s global offices outside of China were closed earlier this month, this includes the Australian operation.

“For all of our retail stores outside of Greater China, we will reopen our stores on a staggered basis. At this time, we anticipate some stores may be able to open in the first half of April depending on the conditions in their community,” O’Brien wrote. “We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established.”

Apple closed 458 of its retail stores including Australia Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan earlier this month on an indefinite basis as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. It previously closed its 42 China stores, but those have since all reopened.

“In all our offices outside of Greater China, we are extending flexible work arrangements for all team members — outside of those whose work requires them to be onsite — through at least April 5, which will then be revaluated weekly depending on your location,” O’Brien told staff in the memo sent this week.

 

O’Brien said Apple is “putting the health of our teams, customers, and communities first.” Apple was one of the first retailers to shut stores in response to the virus. It is donating millions of masks to health-care professionals and matching employee donations to the cause.

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