The pandemic has taken a toll on a large number of businesses including tech giant Apple. 95 Apple stores were forced to close even though it is the peak season for holiday shopping.

The restrictions brought about by COVID-19 has led Apple to temporarily close almost one-fifth of its retail stores amid a busy holiday season.

The tech giant has closed all of its stores in California and Tennessee just this weekend. California has recently been the epicentre of COVID-19. The state's total number of cases has already reached 1.8 million and it has a recorded death toll of 22,000. In Los Angeles, closures have been announced since Dec. 18.

"Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas," said the tech giant in a statement. It added that it would closely be monitoring the situation and that they are also looking forward to having their teams and customers back as soon as possible.

Effective since Dec. 20, Apple stores that fall under the new "Tier 4" restrictions of the UK were also closed. The Tier 4 restrictions were announced by PM Boris Johnson wherein people in England were banned from seeing family and friends over the holidays. With Tier 4, Apple stores in 15 locations all over London were impacted. In Wales, one Apple store had to bear the brunt.

In Mexico and Brazil, they are closing stores between Dec. 19 and 20. With the closure of the physical stores, many moved to adopt the Express storefront service to be able to cater to customers. Across the Netherlands and Germany, about 18 Apple stores closed.

A report in 9To5Mac revealed that 401 of the 509 Apple stores have remained open as of its publication, albeit, many of the locations have been limited to Express storefront. This means that customers are only able to pick up their orders at the storefront.

Customers may do walk-in shopping but they have to have an appointment. If they don't have an appointment, it is very unlikely that they would be entertained even at Express locations.

Apple temporarily closes 95 stores. Photo: Pixabay