Apple has given a set of Retail Store numbers to Jim Dalrymple of The Loop that tout how many visitors the 375 outlets serve each year. It says that the stores has served almost 300M visitors so far in 2012, with 50k visitors a day to the Genius Bar, Apple’s expert assistance service.
Over several weeks, we had been getting reports that Apple Retail Store staff were seeing cut hours and that hiring events were being halted. Other sites reported that newly hired staff was also getting laid off. That came to a head late last week, when Apple issued a statement last week saying that the changes were a mistake, but that the reports were also misleading.
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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.”
A report from Ian Sherr in the Wall Street Journal said that Apple’s Senior Vice President, John Browett, 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.
Last week we broke down the rumors and tried to divine why such changes would be taking place right in advance of a fall product release event.
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 are actually compensated at a fairly median level.
You can read more of Dalrymple’s account of Apple’s new store openings in Canada this weekend here.