Apple’s French and UK stores switch to Express pickups as lockdowns begin

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 30: A woman wearing a protective face mask queues in front of an Apple store that remained open on the first day of the second national lockdown as part of the COVID-19 measures to fight a second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on October 30, 2020 in Paris, France. France has imposed another national lockdown for a minimum of four weeks as the number of coronavirus cases soars during the second wave. Businesses which were defined in the spring as non-essential, including bars, restaurants, museums will be closed. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Chesnot via Getty Images

With lockdowns starting today in the UK and last week in France, Apple Stores in those countries are switching gears. Starting tomorrow (November 6th) in the UK, Apple will switch stores over to Storefront service, offering “click-and-collect” pickup only and no Genius bar or shopping (via 9to5Mac). Before you can pick up any orders, you’ll need to reserve a time slot and have received a confirmation email.

“Apple’s Express storefronts allow customers to collect online orders at a safe and convenient pickup window,” the company said in a statement to iMore. “Browsing the store is not permitted, and service is offered only with a reserved time slot. Click-and-collect service allows for the same convenient pickup of orders and returns, but Genius Support is unavailable. Apple has not updated the status of the iPhone Upgrade Program, which is only available in-store in the UK.”

The COVID-19 lockdown started today in the UK and will extend until December 2nd at the earliest, depending on how fast the rate of infections drop. The rules state that only essential business like grocery stores, clinics and pharmacies may remain open, while non-essential stores for clothing, furniture, electronics, vehicles and other must close. However, the latter businesses may offer “click-and-collect” walk-up or drive-through delivery services. Very similar restrictions are in place for France, where Apple started click-and-collect service last week in seven stores.

UK Apple stores closed today, but are set to reopen tomorrow, November 6th. If you purchased a new iPhone 12 or other recently announced Apple device and were hoping to pick it up, you may want to arrange that soon — most of the new devices are set to start shipping on November 13th.

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Apple, Stores, click and collect, lockdown, COVID-19, pandemic, iPhone, Mac, news, gear
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