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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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By tayb on 8/29/2012 10:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
I've read reports of rampant waste, theft, forgery, and bribery at Apple stores. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment given away to friends of employees, as perks to nearby businesses for free drinks, as payment to businesses for services rendered (personal or otherwise), as devices to shatter for fun at "Apple Parties", etc. Quote from a Gizmodo article.

quote:
But the Genius crew wasn't just yanking all these phones so they could make calls with both ears. They took them just so they could break them. Ronald used this inventory loophole—which he and Jake both say is harder to exploit these days—to go through countless iPhones for the sheer absurdity of it. At parties with other Apple employees, they'd all get tanked, pull out their phones, and spike them to the ground, laughing as the Gorilla Glass and circuits sprayed. Sounds more entertaining than flip cup, at least—and to Jake and the rest, it was a sort of game. How many phones could they squeeze out of oblivious, infinitely-stocked Apple? In the early days of the phone, the only limit seemed to be the audacity of the Geniuses. They even traded gear for free drinks.


It sounds to me that Jobs had a very laissez faire attitude about the Apple stores which led to an "anything goes" mentality among the employees with stores wasting/squandering/stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Tim Cook seems to be trying to cut down on that sort of thing and make the stores more profitable. That doesn't mean he is going to make the stores less consumer friendly.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














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