Apple has confirmed that it has temporarily closed the majority of its stores in the United States to protect employees and customers following #BlackLivesMatter protests across the country, sparked by the murder of George Flloyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.
Across the country, numerous Apple Stores have been targeted by looters or damaged, with employees being asked to empty sales floors of merchandise to prevent theft and damage.
The company has confirmed that its stores will remain closed today (June 1) and that it would reopen stores only when it is safe to do so.
Some of its stores have suffered from extensive damage due to riots and looting and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
In a statement, the company said that “with the health and safety of our teams in mind, we’ve made the decision to keep a number of our stores in the US closed,” updating its Apple Store retail pages.
Apple Uptown, in Minneapolis, remains closed indefinitely after being ‘ransacked’ by looters.
Apple had only just begun reopening its retail outlets in the United States following mass closures during the COVID-19 crisis, and though the company had opened around 140 of its 271 retail stores, they were subject to strict social distancing and hygiene precautions.
The stores have been a target of protestors, with several damaged or looted, including in Washington D.C., San Fransisco, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City.
Although Apple tracks its in-store display products, like iPhones and iPads, this hasn’t deterred protestors.
It’s unknown when Apple Stores will reopen, but with riots and protests escalating across the country, Apple will have to take one step at a time to protect both its staff and customers.
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