Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors and fans of its products had reason to rejoice Monday, as all of the company's Apple Stores were open for business. This marks the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that each was accessible to the public.
While the company's business did not overly suffer from the economic fallout of the pandemic (in fact, it booked a new all-time record high for quarterly revenue in its recently reported Q1) its brick-and-mortar retail locations are a crucial part of its sales strategy. With their sleek design and full array of the company's products -- not to mention the repair services they offer -- in normal times they are durably popular destinations for both existing and potential Apple customers.
Throughout the pandemic, Apple had been relatively cautious in reopening the retail outlets. At times, even when local or state regulations permitted their operation, the company kept them shut. It still operates them using a set of health and safety protocols to keep the coronavirus at bay; these include occupancy limits and customer temperature checks.
"Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we're confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores," the company wrote in an official statement on the matter last May. "We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near- and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials."
Currently, there are 270 Apple Stores throughout the United States.
The tech giant's stock did well on Monday, adding 5.4% to outpace the 2.4% gain of the S&P 500 index.