Apple Store: Closures Could Hurt Product Sales
The third fiscal quarter has been a roller coaster ride for Apple.
In May, the company began to open its retail locations in the US, although very slowly. As recently as June 16, Apple celebrated the reopening of over 70 additional stores in North America. States in the US began to relax stay-at-home restrictions, following early signs that the COVID-19 pandemic might have been under control in the country.
But things started to take a turn for the worse in late June. By the end of the quarter, 30 stores had been re-closed. On July 6, the Apple Maven counted 91 locations across the country that were expected to be shut down for the first full week of the month at least. Here is some data:
- Over one-third of US stores were closed
- All stores in Texas, Florida, Arizona and eight more states have been shut down
- Only two locations were operating a normal schedule: Cupertino-CA and Little Rock-AR
- The remaining 178 stores have been using a limited schedule, or only permitting online pickups and service appointments
The impact to the quarter
Apple’s second fiscal quarter had already been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly on the product side. Greater China sales dropped 7.5%, in part due to the effects of the disease outbreak that started earlier in the country.
The bad news is that Americas accounted for about 44% of total global sales in the most recent period. While China is still an important geographic segment, the impact of store closures in the US can be more damaging to Apple’s financial performance. This will certainly be an important topic of conversation on July 30, when the Cupertino company is scheduled to report fiscal third quarter results.