Apple abruptly shutters store in North Carolina after shootings

Apple informed the store’s employees on Wednesday that the location would be closing immediately. PHOTO: REUTERS

CHARLOTTE – Apple has abruptly shut down one of its retail stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the mall where it is located suffered at least three shootings in recent months.

The company informed the store’s employees on Wednesday that the location would be closing immediately, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The store was open for business on Wednesday morning, and a copy of its website from the previous day showed no plans for it to change business hours or close. 

After employees were informed of the plan, Apple updated its website to show that the location – at the Northlake Mall in Mecklenburg County – would be shuttered permanently.

The shootings at the mall contributed to the decision, the people said. 

Apple told employees that there will be no layoffs and that staff at the Northlake Mall site would be transferred to the nearby South Park location in Charlotte or roles working at the company’s online store.

The iPhone-maker is also opening a new location in Charlotte next year to replace the Northlake Mall store.

Plans for that store were already in the works before the recent shootings.

Apple confirmed the closure, but declined to comment further on the reasoning.

“In preparation for a new store we plan to open in the Charlotte area early next year, we will be closing Apple Northlake on March 2,” the company said in a statement.

“All of our team members will continue to support our Charlotte customers at Apple South Park and the Apple store online.”

Apple, which operates about 270 retail locations in the United States, rarely closes stores, and the quick nature of the shutdown makes it all the more unusual. 

According to local news reports, shots were fired outside a Macy’s at the Northlake Mall on Tuesday, while another shooting took place in early February.

There were additional shootings reported in December and in 2021. BLOOMBERG

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