Apple Inc. stores are again allowing customers to try on AirPods before buying them, another sign of the company’s retail operations heading toward normalcy, according to employees.
Apple stopped letting customers try on the earbuds when Covid-19 began to spread last year. The company is now allowing try-ons in the U.S. and other regions at stores that are open for customer walk-ins, either with or without an appointment. The ability to try on AirPods has been available at locations in Asia for months already.
Some stores are still operating using a system known as Apple Store Express, which essentially replaces the front of the store with bank teller-like windows. Those stores still aren’t letting shoppers try on AirPods. This is an important part of the in-person sales process because some consumers want to determine how well the earbuds fit or choose between the regular AirPods and AirPods Pro.
While Apple Stores have opened and closed depending on local conditions for the past several months, all of Apple’s 270 U.S. stores were reopen for the first time earlier in March. Some stores still have retained the Express setup, however.