Coronavirus fear looms over: Apple to close 11 stores again after reopening them a few weeks ago

Apple, like many other major US retailers, shut down all of its US locations in March.

AFP
Apple's move heightens concerns that the pandemic might keep the economy in the doldrums longer than expected.
ET Spotlight
WASHINGTON: Apple's Friday decision to close stores in four states with surging coronavirus cases highlights a question that other businesses may soon face: Stay open or prepare for more shutdowns? Apple, like many other major US retailers, shut down all of its US locations in March.

On Friday, it said it would shut 11 stores, seven in Arizona, two in Florida, two in North Carolina and one in South Carolina, that it had reopened just a few weeks ago.

The move heightens concerns that the pandemic might keep the economy in the doldrums longer than expected. Those worries sent stocks on Wall Street lower.


It's not clear whether other retailers will follow en masse, although one analyst expects hard-hit stores to stay open unless forced to close by local authorities.

Many other businesses, including manufacturing, travel, dining, and entertainment, have been steadily reopening where they can while taking health precautions. But some have recently pulled back or paused their plans.

The Cruise Lines International Association, for instance, announced Friday that ships will not be sailing from U.S. ports until at least Sept. 15, extending a pause put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
ADVERTISEMENT

The auto industry, meanwhile, has seen its efforts to restart production hampered in part by infected workers.

Because US efforts to contain the pandemic haven't been particularly successful, the situation "could ultimately lead to a need for more prolonged shut-downs" that would reduce consumer spending and cost jobs, said Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

In public remarks Friday, Rosengren said he expected the economic rebound this year would be less than what was initially hoped for at the pandemic's outset, and that the unemployment rate would remain in double-digits.

Cancelled Events, A New Global Greeting: The Many Firsts That Came With The Novel Coronavirus
1/7

The coronavirus has shut down countries, offices and even some famous tourist places for the first time ever. There have been some other firsts that were added to the list.

The coronavirus has shut down countries, offices and even some famous tourist places for the first time ever. There have been some other firsts that were added to the list.

While Queen Elizabeth usually wears gloves for public engagements, she was spotted, for the first time in decades, wearing gloves during an investiture at Buckingham Palace — an event she usually attends gloveless.

While the Queen is known for her keen sartorial sense, the add-on accessory was not just for fashion but as a safety measure against the contagious coronavirus, which has a growing number of cases in the UK.

While Queen Elizabeth usually wears gloves for public engagements, she was spotted, for the first time in decades, wearing gloves during an investiture at Buckingham Palace — an event she usually att..
Read More

Recently, Pope Francis took a step that was out of the ordinary and did not appear at his Vatican window to deliver his blessing. Instead, in a first for the Pope, he live streamed it from his residence, in a move that was in solidarity with those affected by the virus. The visual was set up at the main square and aired on big screens. And since Italy is now in lockdown, the mass will be live streamed until further notice.

Recently, Pope Francis took a step that was out of the ordinary and did not appear at his Vatican window to deliver his blessing. Instead, in a first for the Pope, he live streamed it from his reside..
Read More

While toilet paper does offer hygiene benefits, it’s no mask when it comes to the coronavirus. But toilet paper seems to be in high demand worldwide, so much so that it has run out in certain parts.

There was an armed robbery in Hong Kong where 600 rolls were stolen and a newspaper in Australia decided to do its bit for its subscribers by printing eight blank pages readers could use as toilet paper.

While toilet paper does offer hygiene benefits, it’s no mask when it comes to the coronavirus. But toilet paper seems to be in high demand worldwide, so much so that it has run out in certain parts. ..
Read More

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers had said that global carbon emissions would go up. However, China’s carbon dioxide emissions fell by an estimated 200 million tonnes in the four weeks to March 1. That’s the equivalent of the UK’s carbon emissions over six months. This is because apart from people staying indoors and travelling less, large parts of China’s industrial base have come to a standstill in the wake of the pandemic.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers had said that global carbon emissions would go up. However, China’s carbon dioxide emissions fell by an estimated 200 million tonnes in the four weeks t..
Read More

India is famous for its exports and the latest is our greeting: The namaste. Due to the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus, handshakes are best avoided and so, world leaders are opting for a safer way to say hello, by joining their palms together.

Prince Charles (c) was recently filmed quickly converting his outstretched hand into a namaste, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron have already been using the Indian greeting during official engagements to reduce contact with others.

India is famous for its exports and the latest is our greeting: The namaste. Due to the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus, handshakes are best avoided and so, world leaders are opting for a..
Read More
New York cancelled its St Patrick’s Day parade for the first time in its 258-year history. The high-profile event, usually held on March 17, draws in tens of thousands of performers and millions of spectators. The city’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced that it would be postponed to a later date, owing to a nationwide bid to contain Covid-19.
New York cancelled its St Patrick’s Day parade for the first time in its 258-year history. The high-profile event, usually held on March 17, draws in tens of thousands of performers and millions of s..
Read More

ADVERTISEMENT
States such as Utah and Oregon are pausing the reopening of their economies amid a spike in cases, while others like Texas and Arizona have not changed their plans.

Arizona this week did mandate that businesses implement social distancing, and Phoenix made masks mandatory in public.

ADVERTISEMENT
Like many of the biggest players in the technology industry, Apple has been faring far better than most companies amid pandemic-induced recession. The store closures won't put a significant dent in Apple's sales, said Wedbush Securities Daniel Ives, but they are "a worrisome trend."

The Cupertino, California, company has continued to sell iPhones and other products online, and other retailers can do so as well if they decide to close, said Craig Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners.

"I don't think this is going to be a giant stumbling block for Apple or anybody else. You can still get almost everything you need online somewhere," he said.

Johnson noted that the country's biggest retailers, Walmart and Target, did not shut down, and neither did appliance chains like Home Depot and Lowe's. If other chains that aren't deemed essential do shut down stores, he would expect closures to be limited to areas with rising cases.

Still, retail has been hit hard, with declining profits and bankruptcies. Retail earnings shrank 70% in the first quarter, excluding Walmart, said Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics, and second-quarter earnings are expected to drop another 45%.

Department stores Neiman Marcus and J.C.Penny and clothing chain J. Crew have all filed for bankruptcy protection. Home-goods chain Pier 1 is shutting down.

"Remaining open may be existential for some retailers and I would expect they will stay open where local regulations allow," Perkins said in an email.

He expected that they would offer curbside pick-up "at a bare minimum" even if doors were shut again in specific areas where they are required to do so.

Restarting The World: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, And Other Icons Reopening In The New Normal
1/6

2020 began with the coronavirus pandemic sending the world into shutdown mode. And now having spent half the year with stay at home orders and lockdowns, the world seems to be restarting.


Restrictions have been eased, and a new normal has set it with face masks, shields, social distancing forming a part of our daily lives.


As we learn to accept a life with these revisions, some icons are reopening their doors and reminding us that not all has changed.

2020 began with the coronavirus pandemic sending the world into shutdown mode. And now having spent half the year with stay at home orders and lockdowns, the world seems to be restarting. Restriction..
Read More

Paris icon Eiffel Tower closed its gates to vistors more in Mid March as France battled the coronavirus pandemic. With more than three months to that day, the 10-tonne metal landmark is now ready to emerge from its longest closure since World War II.


In a statement on its website, the operators said that the icon will be open to the public from June 25, albeit with restrictions. There will be a limit on the number of visitos, face masks will be mandatory for all, and visits will be by stairs only and not be the elevator to ensure social distancing.

Paris icon Eiffel Tower closed its gates to vistors more in Mid March as France battled the coronavirus pandemic. With more than three months to that day, the 10-tonne metal landmark is now ready to ..
Read More

The old normal life isn't back, but you can still hike to Grand Canyon National Park, as long as you follow some restrictions. The park began limited daily access from May 29 and allowed 24-hour access along with lodging from June 5.


However, as of now existing backcountry permits will be honoured, but the park won't issue any new permits.

The old normal life isn't back, but you can still hike to Grand Canyon National Park, as long as you follow some restrictions. The park began limited daily access from May 29 and allowed 24-hour acce..
Read More

Come July and people in Paris will once again be able to admire the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.


While France has allowed museums and historic sites to reopen their doors this month, the Louvre - that has been closed since March 13 - has decided to wait till July 6 before letting art lovers in.


Online reservations will open on June 15.


Come July and people in Paris will once again be able to admire the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. While France has allowed museums and historic sites to reopen their doors this month, the Louvre - that ha..
Read More

Shanghai that began its fight against Covid-19 in January, saw life return to a sense of normal as tourists, equipped with masks, returned to Disneyland three months later. o


The park reopened its doors on May 11, providing a ray of hope to other mass entertainment venues on surviving and functioning in the pandemic.

Shanghai that began its fight against Covid-19 in January, saw life return to a sense of normal as tourists, equipped with masks, returned to Disneyland three months later. oThe park reopened its doo..
Read More

After reopening Shanghai Disneyland, the company is now working on plans to reopen its theme parks in California next month, albeit at a significantly limited capacity, and with no opportunities to hug Mickey Mouse or high-five Donald Duck for the time being.


The plans, that still require government approval, will see the resort near Los Angeles, including Disneyland and Disney California Adventure welcome visitors back beginning July 17.


Disneyland is the world's second-most visited theme park, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each day, but it closed in mid-March due to coronavirus concerns.

(Text inputs: AFP)


After reopening Shanghai Disneyland, the company is now working on plans to reopen its theme parks in California next month, albeit at a significantly limited capacity, and with no opportunities to ..
Read More

Disney, which has been planning to reopen Disneyland in California and Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in July, is not changing its plans. Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld have already reopened in Florida. Cases are also rising in Florida, and some restaurants and bars said they were temporarily closing again.

Movie theater chains are also reopening, with Cinemark beginning the process this week in Dallas and going nationwide in July. Regal and AMC are also set to open again in July - with mask requirements for employees and customers.

The Navajo Nation's gambling operation had hoped to reopen its casinos in Arizona and New Mexico in mid-June but they'll stay closed until at least early July because of the outbreak. Other casinos have closed temporarily.


Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+