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Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Apple Store Personnel Cuts to Increase Profit?

ifoAppleStore.com is reporting that there are going to be a number of layoffs at many Apple Stores. The report says that layoffs are not due to declining sales, or reduced traffic, but rather as a measure to increase profit.

This seems like a bizarre move (One that Steve would never approve of?) in light of the fact that the Apple Stores are already the most profitable retail stores in the world. Apple is also about to enter the very busy back-to-school season, the release of the iPhone 5, and then before you know it, the holiday shopping season.

The idea that Apple would make a move like this to "maximize profit" when they have almost a trillion dollars at their disposal is a little troubling to me.

The report sites numerous tipsters within the Apple Store that management have received the following instructions:
  • Cease all recruiting and hiring events
  • Make no promotions
  • Immediately lay off newly-hired employees who are still on probation
  • Reduce available hours for part-time employees
  • Reduce or eliminate available overtime
  • Lay off or fire employees who can only work more than 32 hours a week and not part-time

Apparently this direction is coming from new Sr. VP Retail John Browett. Tipsters are also saying that Apple will be quietly dropping free workshops that they have always offered and instead will steer customers to the $99 one-on-one training service.

Mayor's Opinion: If all the reports are true, I definitely think this is a bad move for Apple and not one that Steve would be on board with. Does the move bring any value to Apple's customer's? No, in fact it will probably make purchasing at the Apple Store not as pleasant. It's a move done purely to maximize profits, which is very disheartening for a company that is just rolling in the profits and cash. Profits that were acquired in part through the hard work and efforts of many front-line retail staffers. A job that for anyone who's worked an extended time in retail, knows that the work can be life-sucking and extremely draining.

I'm occasionally starting to catch some bone-headed moves by Apple in the absence of Steve. They recently ran a strange ad-campaign during the Olympics actually featuring "Apple geniuses" at Apple Stores. The ads were not so good, and they were pulled from the air pretty quickly.

I know Steve didn't want Apple to constantly ask, "What would Steve do", but maybe they should be asking themselves, "WOULD Steve do this?" Apple has made a number of moves recently, where my first reaction would lead me to believe the answer would be a resounding "No."

What's your thoughts? ( 15 comments )
 

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