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Apple's new retail chief looks to trim the fat

Odd things have been happening at Apple retail stores over the last few weeks. Earlier this month, reports started surfacing that a number of retail workers at Apple store locations had been laid off. Apple responded to those reports by saying that it had "messed up" in its retail hiring formula but hadn't laid anyone off. 
 
"Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed," said Kristin Huguet, Apple spokeswoman, at the time. "Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve."
 
However, reports are coming in that Apple stores are seeing their budgets cut, and a bigger emphasis is being placed on revenue. With a market cap of well over $600B and record profits quarter after quarter, it seems a bit odd to be placing such a heavy focus on revenue and cutting the budget of its retail outlets which have historically been very customer friendly. ifoAppleStore.com reports that employees still haven't received an official explanation of changes made in staffing levels, and that signs continue that Apple is focusing on revenues and profit instead of customer satisfaction.
 
According to sources cited by ifoAppleStore.com, employee performance standards have been modified to place an emphasis on sales functions. Reports also indicate that more small products will be stocked at Apple retail stores and several budget categories for the retail outlets have been cut, including the budget for store maintenance.
 
Sources say that workers are allegedly being evaluated based on the number of contracts sales for iPhones they're able to generate and a number of "essentials per hero product" sold with each product such as cases, and accessories. The sources also indicate that the number of training areas in stores is being reduced to accommodate the extra small products and accessories.

Sources: IFO Apple Store, Apple Insider



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RE: Stalling the economy
By dgingerich on 8/28/2012 4:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
At the rate they're affecting the US economy, they'd be better off spending for the sake of spending. To have this much money sitting around doing nothing is causing so much slowdown that people aren't buying their goods. If they spend on more projects, employ more people in general, as Google is doing, they'd get that money back out there to be reused. That money would make the rounds in the system, increase the economy in general, and everyone would make more money in the process. This would in turn allow more people to buy their goods, and most likely make them more profit than what they'd spent.

Granted, Google is spending on worthwhile projects, exploring different prospects and markets. They're even spending massive amounts of money on creating their own broadband ISP. (I hope they come here, being stuck with Comcast really sucks.) Google would easily have as much money as Apple if they had saved it up, yet Google is probably the only reason we're still under 10% unemployment.


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