SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Apple Store at 928 State St. in Santa Barbara is back open for business following a six month long closure prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time of its closure in mid-March, Apple was among nearly a dozen local shops in the downtown corridor shutting its doors. All of the iphones, ipads, and remaining products on display were removed, leaving the brick and mortar vacant.
Rumors began circulating that the tech giant wasn’t renewing its lease at the State St. location.
By noon Tuesday, a smattering of customers -- each wearing a mask -- waited patiently outside to be helped. Inside, less than a dozen customers and employees milled about, with plenty of spacing between.
Signs posted in both English and Spanish explain shopping and service protocols during the ongoing pandemic.
One Apple employee, who was not authorized to go on camera, said the downtown store opened about a week ago at limited capacity and with regular store hours, seven days a week. In-store service is currently by appointment, only.
Customers who order products online will be assisted outdoors by an employee with an Apple cart. A team of security guards is stationed, keeping watch.
An official statement posted on Apple’s website states strict health and safety protocols remain in place for both employees and customers, including the use of face masks.
The following is an excerpt which explains what Apple customers can expect during the pandemic:
‘We’ve also taken this time to consider how we can serve our customers’ needs even more effectively, whether online or in our stores. For many stores, that will mean curb‑side pick‑up and drop off. If you choose to buy online, we can ship to your home or make your new items available for convenient pick‑up at our stores. And you can continue to find the same excellent standard of customer service and support online and over the phone to help you with any questions you might have.’
To make an appointment at Apple State Street, click the following link: https://www.apple.com/retail/statestreet/?cid=aos-us-seo-maps