Despite the drastic impact of the coronavirus on retail, Apple has announced that it plans to continue expanding the number of physical Apple Stores it operates.

According to Bloomberg, however, Apple has now said that it is continuing with its expansion plans. In a brief remark to German media firm Funke Mediengruppe, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people confirmed the move.

“On our online site, people can learn a lot about the products,” Deirdre O’Brien is said to have told the firm. “In a store, they can touch them and get a feel for them. We intend to add more stores.”

O’Brien gave no more details than that, not even specifying whether the plans are to expand worldwide or solely within the States.

Wherever Apple builds, however, it is a sign of confidence in the return of retail. Globally, major retail firms such as the UK’s Topshop fashion chain have collapsed, while others, including Microsoft, have permanently closed stores.

Apple has not been unaffected either. It recently followed a large proportion of retailers in closing down their stores within the MacArthur Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

Equally, though, Apple has just had a major new Apple Store open in Rome. The Apple Via del Corso resides within the grand Palazzo Marignoli, which Apple has renovated.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, “Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider,” and you’ll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for “AppleInsider Daily” instead and you’ll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you’re interested in Apple-centric home automation, say “Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider,” and you’ll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.