Apple to close all stores outside China for two weeks

Apple to close all stores outside China for two weeks
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Apple announced Saturday that it would close all of its stores outside China until March 27 as it grapples with the spreading coronavirus.

The company's CEO, Tim Cook, said in a statement that Apple has committed $15 million to the global COVID-19 response "to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic."

"We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers' lives. We are all so grateful to you," he said.

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"In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China. That means team members should work remotely if their job allows, and those whose work requires them to be on site should follow guidance to maximize interpersonal space. Extensive, deep cleaning will continue at all sites. In all our offices, we are rolling out new health screenings and temperature checks," he added.

Despite the closures, Cook said that hourly workers will “continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations.”

The Americas and Europe combine for 70 percent of Apple's net sales, according to CNBC. The company last month temporarily shuttered all of its stores in mainland China amid the virus outbreak there.

Cook didn't provide any details regarding the severity of the sales hit Apple is expecting to take because of the closures, but Apple had already warned that it would not meet its quarterly revenue estimate of between $63 billion and $67 billion.