Apple shuts retail stores in Spain, closes 1st US outlet

San Jose, March 14 (IANS) As Apple opened all 42 retail stores in China after the new coronavirus situation improved in that country, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker has now announced plans to shut all 11 stores in Spain from Saturday till further notice.

A US retail store at Willow Grove Park in Pennsylvania has also been closed on orders from the state's governor, reports Apple Insider. Pennsylvania has shut down schools, community centres, gyms and entertainment venues in Montgomery County for two weeks.

“According to Apple's regional website, each of the company's 11 branded brick-and-mortar stores in Spain will be closed effective Saturday, March 14. The stores will remain closed until further notice, the report mentioned.

“Due to current health precautions, this store will remain closed until further notice. If you need online support, visit Sorry for the inconvenience,” read a message posted on each store's landing page in Spain.

Apple has shut down retail operations in Italy too that is bearing the maximum brunt after China, reporting 17,660 cases with 1,266 deaths.

Italy was followed by Spain (4,231 cases, 120 deaths), France (3,661 cases, 79 deaths) and Germany (3,062 cases, eight deaths).

Globally there were 141,467 cases and 5,399 deaths. This figure also includes China.

“As we support the work to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19, our priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities we serve. With that in mind, our stores in Italy will be closed until further notice,” Apple said in a statement.

Apple on Friday announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June but digital-only owing to coronavirus pandemic.

Now in its 31st year, Apple WWDC 2020 will take on an entirely new online format packed with content for consumers, press and developers alike.

“The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full programme with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead,” said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

As the novel coronavirus situation improves in mainland China, Apple this week reopened all its 42 retail stores in the country.

The tech giant closed all retail stores in the country from February 1 based on the advice from leading health experts. It aimed to reopen stores on February 9 but that date ended up being extended.

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