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Apple Reopening Store In Seoul, First Outside China

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is reopening its store in Seoul, South Korea -- the first store to reopen outside China.

What Happened

Apple’s Seoul store, the only location the company has in South Korea, will be the first outside China to reopen on Saturday. The company shuttered all its stores last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The store will operate on a limited hours basis and will focus on repairs for both Apple computers and phones.

Apple stated, “To start, we’ll have an adjusted schedule and guidelines to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy. A focus for the store will be service and support at the Genius Bar. For customers who want to make a purchase, we have several options, including ordering online for delivery or pick up in store,” reported CNBC.

Why It Matters

The reopening of Seoul’s Apple store comes after South Korea won praise for having dealt with COVID-19 so successfully. According to the South Korean ministry of health and welfare, there were10,635 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country as of Friday, 7,829 of which had been released from isolation. The number of fatalities stands at 230.

Last month, Apple reopened all 42 stores in China after having closed them in February amid a surge in coronavirus cases. According to the company’s website, Apple stores outside Greater China will remain closed indefinitely.

As stay-at-home orders and lockdowns are now in place the world over, many Apple customers needing repairs and support have been left in the lurch.

Apple stores are not expected to reopen in the U.S. before early May, according to an Apple memo cited by Bloomberg.

The company operates nearly 506 retail stores in 24 countries, 272 of which are in the United States, according to MacRumors, a website that aggregates Apple-related news.

What Else

According to Reuters, Apple shipped nearly 2.5 million iPhones in China in March, while in February, the company had shipped 500,000 phones.

In February, Apple cited store closures and reduced retail activity in China, as having had a significant impact on its earnings.

Price Action

Apple shares traded 3.03% higher at $295.37 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session 0.79% higher at $286.69.

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