The geniuses behind Apple ($AAPL) are at it again. After its initial emergence in May, even more Apple Stores are reopening soon in both Canada and the US. This goes beyond the label of what is an "essential" business because A) selling iPhones is essential to making Apple money and B) all 50 states have lifted restrictions on retail at this point.

If you want to break down the numbers, 154/271 of the US Apple Stores are open and you can walk into one right now. An additional 70 or so got the green light this week, so you might want to call your local store to find out if you can get some Airpods. 365/510 of the stores worldwide are open, and that includes a handful of curbside pick-up only locations.

An open letter written by Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deidre O'Brien included the following lines: "This week we’ll return to serving customers in many more US locations including by appointment in New York City, where we’re proud to stand beside New Yorkers as they emerge from this incredibly difficult time. All stores continue to practice additional steps for the health of employees and customers, including temperature checks, face coverings, and social distancing."

But that was sent in May, and it's June now, and things are getting worse in a lot of states. What's going to happen to Apple Stores and its employees when there's a rash of states going into lockdown, everything has to close again, there's a second wave, and the economy gets hit?

Apple's a unique case in the world of business, because as a certified FAANG member, it's almost immune to the effects of the outside world, pandemic or depression or anything. It grew its total headcount by 12% this year alone, its stock is higher now than it was in February, and Apple can afford to take another hit to retail and be totally fine. The main issue: all those retail workers who could lose their jobs if something drastic happens.

Job openings for retail workers went down almost 23% since mid-March, a sign that there might be a squeeze on Apple Stores everywhere. Then again, hiring across the company has declined so far in 2020. 

On a final note, did you know Apple's Facebook Likes have been going down for the past two years? It's true, and while that doesn't tell us much, it might get worse if there aren't temples to the brand aka an Apple Store to kill time in anymore, what with malls being decimated across the country and everyone not spending frivolous money on stuff they don't need right now. Imagine this holiday, when the new iPhone comes out, and 50 million people are out of work? What happens to Apple then?

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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