Apple Inc on Friday disclosed that it is closing down some shops again in Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in the United States.
Shares of Apple, which stated that the temporary shutdowns in these states would affect 11 locations, dropped 0.5 percent. The company had considered reopening around 100 stores in the US in late May as nationwide lockdown orders started to loosen.
However, cases of the novel coronavirus in the country have steadily risen again, with more than 2.2 million people getting sick and some 118,396 reported to have died.
The company said customers who have products for repair in the said areas will have the weekend to get their gadgets back. All of these shops had reopened since Apple first closed them last March.
According to an Apple representative, because of the ongoing COVID-19 situation in some of the communities the company serves, they are temporarily shutting down branches in the areas.
"We take this with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible," the company said, as reported by Kif Leswing of CNBC.
The American tech giant has previously closed its stores around the globe starting in March in reaction to the pandemic. Locations started to reopen in recent weeks with new safety policies that include compulsory wearing of face mask, temperature monitoring, curbside pickup in selected areas, and service on an appointment basis.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives applauded the temporary shutdowns in a note to investors on Friday saying the company needs to prioritize the well-being of its workers and customers ahead of selling its products. The almost a dozen store shutdowns are seen to have a significant impact on Apple's profits, he added.
In some US states, the economy's reopening has triggered a rise in new cases of coronavirus infections. In Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona virus-linked hospitalizations have recently reached new highs.
Apple earlier disclosed that it was planning to reopen locations in New York City and that it was targeting over 200 US shops to reopen by end of the week.
The company's announcement lifted stocks across the board as the Dow Jones Industrial advanced 47 points prior to the news and later fell over 230 points before bouncing back moderately. The disclosure dealt a heavy blow on brick-and-mortar retailers in particular.