The Apple Store at the Friendly Center in Greensboro is open for business.

However, the shopping experience is far removed from the laid-back, enjoyable experience it’s been in the past. The store is operating on limited hours and, even if you show up when the store is open, don’t expect to actually be able to go in.

On Friday, June 19, for instance, the store listed its closing time as 7 p.m. However, those who arrived at the store at 4:30 p.m. on Friday were being told they couldn’t enter that day no matter how long they were willing to wait.  

An Apple store employee explained to all those who came up that the line to get in was for people who had reservations. When asked if one could make a reservation for later that evening, the employee said the store was booked until closing and said customers may want to come back the following day and try their luck.

Reservations can be made by going to the store – presumably very early in the day – and then the customer can come back and enter the store at the appointed time.

An Apple employee was telling customers that they could see the new MacBook Airs at Target or Best Buy – however, the Target on Lawndale in Greensboro didn’t have any Apple laptops on display, or even for sale. Even the computers that were on display at Target were shut off and had signs asking customers not to touch them.

Apple is trying to shift everyone to using its online store, however, most people like to see, hold and use a computer before shelling out $1,000 or more to buy one.

The Greensboro Apple store is “open” for now. However, Apple announced this week that it is reclosing some stores in states where the coronavirus is spreading. Apple could close down the Greensboro store again if the trillion-dollar-plus company doesn’t like what it sees in the state’s upcoming virus stats.

Apple put out the following statement regarding its store openings across the world: “In every store, we’re focused on limiting occupancy and giving everybody lots of room, and renewing our focus on one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store.”

The statement added, “We’re also taking some additional steps in most places. Face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19. Throughout the day, we’re conducting enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.”

The company is also doing things like offering curb‑side pick‑up and drop off, and encouraging people to buy online and seek customer support through e-chat or over the phone.

Buyers can pick up their orders at some stores in the state. The store at Friendly Center now has two tent areas out front, however, customers still are not able to purchase a MacBook online and pick it up at that store.