As instances of the coronavirus increase in Texas, Apple will shutter seven of its Houston-vicinity retail locations once again. The shops were set to close on Thursday (June 25), CNBC reported, citing the tech company’s website.
Stores that are reportedly shuttering again include locations at the Houston Galleria, Highland Village, Willowbrook Mall, Memorial City, Baybrook, the Woodlands and First Colony Mall. Apple closed shops again in North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and South Carolina last week for like rationale, and has reportedly re-shuttered a total of 18 retail locations across the U.S.
“We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation, and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible," the company said.
Apple's stores are usually located in key retail properties.
Apple was one of the first firms to close its stores in March due to the coronavirus. It is reportedly keeping an eye on the virus situation throughout different regions to ensure that it is safe to operate its stores. Its U.S. locations began to reopen in recent weeks with heightened safety measures, including temperature checks, social distancing protocol and required mask-wearing.
On May 27, news surfaced that Apple was looking to open approximately 100 U.S. stores. The tech company operates 510 stores throughout the world, per news at the time. An Apple representative said in a statement, “This week, we’ll return to serving customers in many U.S. locations.”
The representative continued, “For customer safety and convenience, most stores will offer curbside or storefront service only, where we provide online order pickup and Genius Bar appointments."
In other Apple news, the company introduced a new portal in May that allows customers to shop from home while stores remained closed. The portal offers an enhanced user experience (UX) that enables people to chat with tech specialists and learn more about contactless delivery options.