Apple retail executives John Browett and Bob Bridger at an Apple Store opening (via Flickr)

Earlier this month, we heard several reports that Apple Store part-time employees were seeing layoffs and that Apple was cutting hours for some employees. Apple followed up by stating that these new policies would be reversed. It seems that affected employees got their jobs back, however, IFOAppleStore comprehensively reports that newly implemented revenue-emphasizing policies and budget cuts remain in place. The report shares the following details:

  • Some demotions are still in place
  • Less workshops
  • Limited overtime for some employees
  • Sales of iPhones with contracts now measure individual employee sales performance
  • A new “Essentials per hero” program that measures accessories and other items sold alongside Apple’s flagship devices.
  • Product display areas replaced with “Etc.” to promote accessory sales.
  • Reduced maintenance budgets

EasyPay is apparently being promoted by store leadership for all the wrong reasons (for employees on the floor):

Adding to this pressure, Specialists have been told to make customers buy accessories using the EasyPay app. But if they do refer customers to EasyPay, that revenue is credited to the store, not to the Specialist’s sales history which, in turn, affects their performance report. That report is used by store managers to justify raises, inter-store transfers and other job benefits.

Besides offering details on recent changes, IFOAppleStore also shares some information that may be the background history on the moves. The report shares that while Steve Jobs was away from Apple (on medical leave in 2009), Apple’s (then COO) Tim Cook and current CFO Peter Oppenheimer pushed former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson towards revenues over customer satisfaction.

According to accounts, Cook pushed Johnson “quite hard” about how other channels were selling more Mac’s per-capita than the retail stores. Without Jobs’ support, Johnson found it was nearly impossible to keep Cook and Oppenheimer from switching the chain’s primary purpose from a superior experience to revenues.

Oppenheimer’s involvement, per IFOAppleStore, connects to our report that Apple had appointed the CFO as interim chief of the retail division prior to hiring John Browett earlier this year.


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