A recent report from Le Figaro claimed Apple authorized reseller eBizcuss was suing Apple regarding claims it gives preferential treatment to its own Apple retail stores when shipping products. Now, following that news, a European Apple Premium Reseller reached out to ChannelWeb to clarify Apple’s retail tactics in a 4,400-word letter.
Speaking anonymously, the APR mirrored many of the complaints of product shortages from eBizcuss’ original lawsuit, but goes even beyond by claiming stores are experiencing cash-flow shortages due to Apple cutting credit lines. It also said Apple’s partners are entering premium reseller’s territory and driving down margins by “targeting SMB and education deals.”
The letter touches on the new v2 redesign for retail stores that costs approximately $400,000 (£258,000) per store. According to the APR, who wrote the letter, APRs are required to update to the v2 store design by the end of the year or face losing their APR status. According to the European APR, the v2 redesign is meant to prevent APRs from selling whatever third-party products they would like. The source claimed with Apple’s current retail tactics, it might not be worth it for resellers like eBizcuss:
“According to our calculation, if eBizcuss has 15 shops, the investment required to remain in the business as an APR v2 would be $6m to $8m… one must concede that without product to place in their shops, with unfair competition from Apple’s own pricing and regulation, with no access to iPhone, with no guarantee from Apple on any of the previous topics, it may be a very dangerous game to play.”
Another APR from the U.K., who reached out to Channel Web, also weighed in on the situation:
“The general consensus is good luck to them [eBizcuss].” APRs on the continent are definitely feeling the pain more than us, but there are instances where Apple has given preferential treatment to its own stores and website and even the high street retailers like DSG. We totally feel eBizcuss’s pain and hope that something positive comes out of it. Apple is not giving us the tools to do the job it wants us to do.”
Here is a breakdown of the letter (via Channel Web):
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– APRs have sometimes not enjoyed parity against Apple’s own stores and high street retailers when it comes to the availability of flagship products such as the iPad and MacBook Air, giving them the embarrassing reputation of “shops with no products”.
– Apple’s SI partners are being allowed to stray onto APR turf by targeting SMB and education deals, driving down margins.
– Some APRs are encountering cashflow difficulties brought about by Apple’s decision to cut their credit lines, he alleged.
– APRs currently cannot stock iPhones, which is a big source of customer dissatisfaction.
– The v2 format forces APRs to reduce the amount of lucrative third-party accessories they offer, he claimed.