Apple is working on expanding its Express Storefront pickup service to safely serve customers in areas where full in-store service cannot resume due to the ongoing health crisis, COVID-19 pandemic.
The new adjustments arrive as the Cupertino tech giant prepares to enter its most important launch season of the year. iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 mini, new iPad Air, MagSafe accessories, and HomePod mini will all be available by mid-November.
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As of October 18, more than 90 percent of Apple’s 271 US stores have reopened. Outside of the United States, all but 14 locations have resumed service in some capacity.
Stores with the Express Pickup include a temporary wall at their entrance or a kiosk outside, product display shelving, and sales counters with plexiglass shields. Service is limited to the pickup of online orders and Genius Support by appointment. At a subset of Express Storefronts, customers may be allowed inside the store with a shopping appointment. Pickup methods for each store location are described in the Apple Store app.
If customers like to try the latest iPhones first hand, they can schedule an appointment to Shop with a Specialist as it is the best way to guarantee one-on-one service and less time waiting in line. One thing to note is that a shopping appointment does not reserve a product to purchase or Genius Support. In most cases, Express Delivery from the Apple Store online will be the easiest way to receive an order.
The Cupertino tech giant is also planning to use its many retail store locations as distribution centers to ship products to consumers more quickly according to a recent report, this process will speed up shipping times for online shoppers who will be able to get items shipped from local areas instead of from one of its distribution centers, or straight from China.
Apple’s move to store-based shipping will give the company a way to make use of its many retail locations that have remained closed due to the current global pandemic. The report says that the Cupertino tech giant is also considering shifting some stores into online support centers if those stores need to be shuttered again.