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Apple's French headquarters raided by government competition authority - Page 3

post #81 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephane36 View Post

It is not about Apple Stores competing fairly with Premium resellers and still having the preference of customers. It is not about an unnamed computer store failing miserably beacause it operates a few blocks away from a brand new Apple store either.

It is about Apple coercing its partners to conform to costly specifications (size of the showfloor, type of furnitures, shelving layout etc.) in order to get the "Apple premium reseller" tag, then fucking with them by supplying only its own Stores with the latests products.

In Europe, Apple sales were really bad in the 1990s (marketshare was half the US one) and if not for enthusiast Apple resellers like eBizcuss at that time, Apple would have not had much places to sell the iMac when the first one hit the shelves%u2026

eBizcuss wasn't a small store, it covered dozens of Apple Premium Resellers in both France and Belgium. Nor was it the only reseller to ask for someone to have a look in Apple practices.

Apple wants to do business in EU. They have to conform to EU laws. That's it. If EU citizens money is good enough for Apple, they should stop fucking with our laws

French Apple Stores aren't paying taxes: Apple built an Apple Store EU subsidiary which buys product from Apple US, at retail price. Because french Apple stores bear payroll charges too (which are quite high in France), they are losing money and avoid any taxes on profit by doing so.

I admire Apple for their products and their commitment to quality and innovation but as a company, when they do business outside of US, they tend to behave like bastards%u2026

Yes, we have Apple Premium Resellers in Switzerland as well. Two days ago I priced a 15" rMBP.  $2,000 higher than the US Apple Store, after VAT. 

 

The problem is not French law or Apple competitive practice, its the fact small European retailers expect to make a very good living doing very little to nothing. And a popułation that tolerates this. As France is seeing in many ways, this approach does not work.

 

I ordered from the USA.

post #82 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye Forget View Post

Yes, we have Apple Premium Resellers in Switzerland as well. Two days ago I priced a 15" rMBP.  $2,000 higher than the US Apple Store, after VAT. 

The problem is not French law or Apple competitive practice, its the fact small European retailers expect to make a very good living doing very little to nothing. And a popułation that tolerates this. As France is seeing in many ways, this approach does not work.

I ordered from the USA.

Are you saying that everyone that owns a store does little or nothing?
post #83 of 84

I don't know where you are from or what business practices you are familiar with. I have lived and worked in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and the USA. For better or for worst, there are markedly different approaches to both life and business. Typical in the USA is 6 days a week plus evening hours. Typical in Europe is about 5 days a week, multiple hour closures at lunch time and no evening hours. Signs on doors saying "out for a bit" are common.  Holidays are paid, lengthy and there is little to no incentive paid for employee self-initiated growth. There's perhaps a bonus, that's totally expected irrespective of performance.  Customer service, product knowledge and employee flexibility suffer as a result. 

 

Where businesses have adopted an approach more aligned with the US approach, small businesses have been devastated. Be it a US company or, more often, a local company. Just look at France with its big box stores and what MacDonald's did to many French restaurants (that perfectly reflected the do little to nothing and expect the consumers to simply pay). 

 

So, yes I am saying many European small business owners have a relatively easy life. Competitive positioning is an after thought as are their customers. What keeps it all going is the acceptance (if not negligence) of the consumer. That's why Internet shopping has not made much of a dent.  However, stick a brick and mortar store in front of them, irrespective of where it originated, and offer merchandise at a substantially lower price, with trained knowledgeable staff and good customer interface skills and viola, the small guys get crushed and scream unfair. What was unfair was how they operated their business for years/decades without a thought given to bettering either the business or their customers' experience. 

 

And lest you believe I'm only picking on the small guy, why does my BMW cost 25% more, inclusive of comparable sales/VAT tax and after negotiations, for the same exact car in Switzerland than in the USA?  Why does a cheap camera part I looked for at Amazon DE just the other day cost 4 times what it costs at Amazon USA?  Or Apple's rMBP which is 40% more at a Swiss reseller, after US sales tax?  He's open 5 days a week, closed at 17:30 sharp and closed for summer holidays. 

 

It would appear to me the European consumers have voted to perpetuate the system. However, it can only last so long and bit by bit those who can not compete will scream.

 

Finally, its no cheaper to operate a business in the USA than Europe. While Europe has its high labor costs and low work hours, the USA has a cascade of governmental bodies and groups all passing legislation that needs to be complied with, frequently changing, frequently conflicting and frequently requires, at each level, connected consultants, lawyers and PR people, not to mention facilitating payments/campaign contributions.  I've moved many production activities from the USA to Germany, Switzerland and France and always made money on the relocations. However, we did not run our companies in the European vein. We simply assumed we were in a competitive environment and managed accordingly. 

 

Sorry all for the long post. 

post #84 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye Forget View Post

However, stick a brick and mortar store in front of them, irrespective of where it originated, and offer merchandise at a substantially lower price, with trained knowledgeable staff and good customer interface skills and viola, the small guys get crushed and scream unfair. What was unfair was how they operated their business for years/decades without a thought given to bettering either the business or their customers' experience. 

That is why I was glad when Apple came to town. Our local Apple reseller was the only game in town and knew it.

 

They would not sell you anything without getting all your personal details for spamming purposes. Understaffed at busy times, always a wait. Poor point of sale equipment: cash register always taking ages to process a transaction. Untrained staff: one customer asked if they could run Office on the Mac, and instead of simply selling them a copy of Office for Mac, he tried to sell them a copy of Parallels, Windows and Office, explaining the concept of virtualization as the customer's eyes glazed over. Just a nightmare.

 

When they found out Apple Store was coming to town they had the good sense to close before Apple arrived.

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