Photo: Dixons Retail
Update: Apple had been cutting back on employee hours.The reason for its decision was that new retail chief John Browett was interested in making more money from the stores.
Browett has since reversed his position and will reinstate the normal hours for employees.
This is good. Apple should take care of its employees. They are one of its most valuable assets.
Below is our original post, written before Apple announced that it was changing its position.
Original: Apple is reportedly cutting back the hours of some retail employees, as well as thinning its staff.
This is reportedly happening because new retail chief John Browett wants Apple’s stores to be more profitable.
If both of these reports are true, it’s troubling on a number of levels.
There’s no reason to thin out its ranks, Apple can afford to keep employees. It has $117 billion in cash. It shouldn’t keep bad employees on the payroll as an act of charity. But, if good employees are being cut just make the company more profitable, it’s inexcusable.
Apple has more profits than it knows what to do with. Keeping a healthy staff of retail employees is a good investment.
One of the things that makes buying an Apple product great is the customer service experience. Unlike with, say, Dell, which made it a nightmare to report problems with a computer, Apple has lots of retail people making the experience pleasant. Apple even built its most recent ad campaign around its brilliant retail employees.
Apple is going to need as many people at its stores as possible. We’re about to enter a crazy sales period for Apple. It has a new iPhone and a new, smaller iPad coming. People should be lining up around the block to buy those products.
Perhaps it’s a just a few stores that are struggling during the lull between new iPhones. The economy as a whole isn’t doing all that great. Apple’s last quarter was lighter than expected. And perhaps, this is making something out of nothing. But, if this is really the direction the new retail leader is going to take the company, we think it’s a huge mistake.
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