Apple temporarily closed all of its retail stores for approximately two hours on Wednesday, Oct. 19, so employees could pay tribute to the company’s late founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs. Store displays were covered with white sheets to keep the event secret, while employees watched a private, internal webcast of a memorial event from Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., campus.
Apple could afford to close more than 300 retail locations just one week after the release of the iPhone 4S, the fastest-selling and most advanced version of the device. Even so, it represents a major loss in revenue—and that's the point. Jobs never was about money in and of itself, and this message was amplified for employees during the two-hour closing.
Millions across the globe would likely have tuned into a public version of the memorial, but Apple’s decision to make the service private for company employees reminds them that this is a loss in the family, and that employees themselves are part of that family.
Apple, however, has not shut out the world as millions of people across the globe have taken to the Web to mourn the loss of Jobs. It has asked for remembrance submissions on a memorial page on the company's Web site.