Apple to reopen 100 of its stores in U.S.

Apple plans to reopen about 100 U.S. stores, mostly with curbside pickup but some with walk-in service, the company said on Tuesday.

Apple shuttered stores worldwide as the coronavirus pandemic spread but has slowly opened them based on local health data. Earlier this month, the company reopened a handful of stores in Alaska, Idaho and Alabama.

Under Apple’s new procedures, stores with walk-in service will require customers and employees to undergo temperature checks and wear masks before entering. Apple will provide masks to customers who have none. Social distancing rules will limit the number of people in the store at one time, which Apple said could create delays for walk-in customers. Apple plans to allow customers to handle display products, as before.

— Reuters


TGI Fridays to close up to 20% of locations

Dozens of TGI Fridays restaurants won’t reopen as the chain struggles to recover from a drastic sales decline due to the covid-19 pandemic.

As many as 20 percent of the company’s 386 U.S. locations will probably have to close permanently, chief executive Ray Blanchette said. The dining chain known for burgers, ribs and shareable appetizers like chicken wings is one of many in the industry struggling to bring in customers who are largely still sheltering at home.

— Bloomberg News


N.J. Transit, Amtrak get funds for bridge

New Jersey Transit and Amtrak have been awarded $91.5 million toward replacement of a century-old
rail bridge whose malfunctions can tie up passenger rail in the U.S. Northeast, said Gov. Phil Murphy (D).

The Portal Bridge, over the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus, sometimes must be whacked into place with sledgehammers after it swings open and fails to lock back into place. A new span, higher and fixed in position, will cost about $1.5 billion. Though its design and some preliminary work are finished, it lacks full funding.

The Federal Railroad Administration awarded the two agencies funding, a “huge win for our state, our commuters, the future of our economy and our nation,” Murphy said on Twitter.

New Jersey Transit, which operates commuter rail to New York City, shares tracks with Amtrak, the national railroad.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Fitness clubs rocked by covid-19 closures face a swell of bankruptcies with more than $10 billion of revenue wiped out as clients ditch memberships, according to investment bank Harrison Co. In a Harrison survey of 1,000 fitness club users, more than a third said they have canceled or plan to terminate existing memberships. “The No. 1 concern we had in our study is cleanliness,” said Paul Byrne, an investment banker at Harrison. He expects more brands to go digital and many boutique studios to raise class prices to keep up with rent payments.

YouTube has been deleting comments critical of China’s ruling party because of a software flaw, the company said Tuesday in response to criticism of the practice. Users of the video giant, a division of Alphabet’s Google, flagged that certain comments posted below videos critical of the Chinese Communist Party were quickly deleted. “This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems, and we are investigating,” a YouTube spokesperson said in an email. Some comments posted in Chinese, such as “communist bandit” and “50-cent party,” a derogatory term for the ruling party, were deleted within seconds.

A used-car dealer accused of trying to get New York City to pay a 400 percent markup on millions of respirator masks he didn’t actually have has become the latest target of a federal crackdown on pandemic profiteering. Ronald Romano, 58, of Manalapan, N.J., tried to charge city officials more than $45 million for the masks, falsely claiming he was an authorized dealer of 3M Co. protective equipment, federal prosecutors said. Arrested Tuesday, Romano is charged with wire fraud and conspiracy and faces as many as 30 years in prison.

— From news services

Coming today

2 p.m.: Federal Reserve releases "beige book."