• The Financial District


Apple’s Friday decision (June 19) to close stores in four states with surging coronavirus cases highlights a question that other businesses may soon face: Stay open or prepare for more shutdowns?

Apple, like many other major U.S. retailers, shut down all of its US locations in March. On Friday, it said it would shut 11 stores, six in Arizona, two in Florida, two in North Carolina and one in South Carolina, that it had reopened just a few weeks ago, Tali Arbel and Michael Liedtke reported for the Associated Press (AP) on Saturday (Sunday, June 21, 2020 in Manila.)

The move heightens concerns that the pandemic might keep the economy in the doldrums longer than expected. Those worries sent stocks on Wall Street lower. It’s not clear whether other retailers will follow en masse, although one analyst expects hard-hit stores to stay open unless forced to close by local authorities.

Many other businesses, including manufacturing, travel, dining, and entertainment, have been steadily reopening where they can while taking health precautions. But some have recently pulled back or paused their plans. The Cruise Lines International Association, for instance, announced Friday that ships will not be sailing from US ports until at least Sept. 15, extending a pause put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.