Microsoft is reportedly trying to poach Apple Store employees as it prepares to launch its own retail empire this year.
According to veteran Apple journalist Jim Dalrymple at The Loop, Microsoft has been contacting Apple Store managers, offering them “significant raises,” and in some cases, moving expenses. The poached managers are, in turn, trying to hire their best salespeople, offering them raises.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone, and is a good strategy for Microsoft. If Microsoft’s retail stores are just PC clones of Apple Stores, that’s going to be better for consumers than if Microsoft were looking for inspiration from Best Buy or Circuit City. (The most Apple-devoted of its retail employees aren’t going to jump, but not everyone who works at an Apple store is necessarily crazy about Apple — particularly managers, we would assume.)
Meanwhile, Apple could eventually have to increase its employees’ wages, or give them further discounts on Apple products to retain loyalty. That could, in turn, modestly lower its retail margins. But given how important the Apple Store movement has been for Apple’s overall business, it’ll be worth it.
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