Rumors have been flying lately that Apple Retail Stores were conducting major layoffs and cutting employee hours, and it turns out that they were at least partially correct.
Apple has acknowledged that they were attempting a new staffing formula for their retail stores that resulted in hourly shift cuts and understaffed retail locations over the last few weeks, but have denied laying off any employees. They are now attempting to rectify their mistake by reverting to the old formula, saying that they “messed up” by making those changes.
The new formula was implemented by John Browett, who took over the position of Senior Vice President in charge of retail stores this past April. Initially he became popular with the staff when Apple increased retail employees’ pay by as much as 25 percent earlier this summer, but these recent changes may have damaged his reputation. Many employees reportedly saw their hours cut down to as little as half-shifts once a week, with part-time employees hit the hardest. One staffer estimated a personal loss of about $1,000 in wages as a result of the schedule shifts.
According to two people who were aware of the communication, Browett has since instructed leadership teams to tell employees “we messed up,” and he claims that while shift schedules were affected, no one was laid off and that Apple Retail Stores are in fact now actively hiring new staff.
“Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed,” said Kristen Huguet, an Apple spokesperson. “Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”
This is an uncharacteristic misstep for a company who prides itself in their innovative retail operations, using their stores not only as sales and repair centers but as major launch pads for new product releases. Hopefully by acknowledging and resolving their error now they will be fully prepared for the highly anticipated release of Apple’s next generation of devices rumored next month.
[via The Next Web]