The tech giant, which will keep its stores open in the China region, becomes one of the first retailers to close its doors in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
He said he would close most of his retail stores outside of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, making him one of the first companies to take such drastic measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The move noted that retailers could be the next part of society to close their doors.
Apple will close
In more than 450 stores in 21 countries until March 27.
"The most effective way to minimize the risk of virus transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance", Timothy D. Cook, the company's chief executive, said in a statement. posted on Friday on the company's website.
Employees who, although stores will be closed for a certain time, would normally be paid; Apple's move was a clear example of how the epicenter of the virus has now spread far beyond China.
Apple closed its 42 stores in China in January due to the coronavirus. But now, as the number of people contracting the virus has slowed down there and increased dramatically elsewhere, Apple has reopened its stores in the China region and closed them elsewhere.
A pandemic declared by the World Health Organization, it has disrupted societies in much of the world in recent days as governments and businesses responded to the rapid advance of the virus.
Supply chains have been disrupted; the planes have flown almost empty; and sports stadiums, theaters and museums have closed their doors.
Retail stores had largely remained open. But Apple's move could be a sign that it is about to change, as many other companies contemplate similar measures.
Patagonia, the outdoor clothing retailer, said Friday it would close its stores until the end of March. Starbucks has said it would consider closing stores temporarily as a "last resource", after it was confirmed that an employee in downtown Seattle had the virus.
While online shopping could help mitigate the impact of store closings for some retailers, closing for even several weeks would further reduce sales for most companies, increasing the cost that the coronavirus is already having in stores. global business.
During the early spread of the virus in China
Apple was one of the most affected western companies, because it manufactures almost all of its products in the country and sells around a fifth of them there.
Chinese factories that make the world's iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks have been closed for weeks. And with its stores closed and many Chinese residents confined to their homes, Apple's sales fell, prompting the company to lower its sales forecast for the quarter.
Things seem to be returning to normal in China for Apple
Foxconn, which assembles most iPhones, said this month that its plants had about 50 percent capacity and was aiming to resume full production by the end of the month.
On Friday, Apple said its annual conference, which draws thousands of software developers to a convention center in San José, California, every June, would be held online. Like many tech companies, Apple had already asked most of its employees worldwide to work at home.