Apple says that recent reports about Retail Store employee hours being cut and hiring events being halted were misleading. Still, it says that some staffing changes were made, but that they were a mistake. Those changes are now being reversed reports Sammy the Walrus, previewing a Dow Jones story from Ian Sherr that is now live.

Apple also says in the report that stores are still hiring and that its employees are its ‘most important asset’. Apple’s Senior Vice President, John Browett, apparently told store leadership teams that they had been trying a new ‘staffing formula’ which caused hourly shift cuts and retail stores to be understaffed for several weeks before reverting it.

Sherr reports on an internal communication that Browett sent:

He instructed leadership teams to tell employees, “We messed up,” according to two people who were aware of the communication, which also stressed that while shift schedules were affected, no one was laid off. He also wanted employees to know that it was hiring new staff, these people said.

Apple’s Kristin Huguet said that “Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed, adding, “our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”

We had been getting reports for some time that Apple Retail Store staff were seeing cut hours and that hiring events were being halted. MacRumors compounded that by saying that newly hired staff was also getting laid off. We had not heard of any layoffs of ‘recently trained’ staff, as they had, but other reports we had received in changes in retail staffing were apparently correct.

Previously, we broke down the rumors and tried to divine why such changes would be taking place. We were perplexed at why Apple would be cutting retail staff hours in advance of a new product release. Now, Apple says that these changes were in error, and that it is ‘reversing’ them.

Apple’s Retail Store employee treatment was the focus of a recent New York Times article, part of its iEconomy series focusing on Apple, entitled ‘Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay‘. We took a look at the numbers from that article and found that Apple store employees weren’t actually underpaid when compared to other retailers.