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Apple remodeling 100 stores with larger Genius Bars, displays

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
While the tough economy is prompting many retailers to cut back on their spending, Apple plans to pour millions into remodeling roughly 40% of its stores and will soon introduce new One-to-One services and other changes geared towards better customer service.

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson told USAToday on Wednesday that the company plans to makeover 100 of its retail stores this year, retrofitting them with customer service Genius Bars that are 50 percent larger and display tables that can showcase twice as many Macs.

"We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we're doing the opposite," he told the newspaper. "We're investing in the downturn."

Beginning June 2, Apple will also make significant changes to its One-to-One personal training service geared towards helping new Mac customers get the most out their systems.

Currently, anyone who's willing to pay $99 can sign up for a year's worth of the training service, but Johnson says Apple will start limiting signups to only those customers who purchase a Mac at an Apple retail store or the Apple online store. Legacy users won't be booted from the program, however, and will be offered the opportunity to renew their subscription for the same $99.

As part of the changes, One-to-One sessions will be limited to three hours, up from one hour. Similarly, up to three participants will now be allowed to take part in the sessions. In addition to its remodeling efforts, Apple will also open 25 new stores worldwide this year, including its fourth flagship location in Manhattan and new shops in Paris, Germany and Italy.
post #2 of 48
3 hour one to one's? Yikes...
post #3 of 48
Great that they plan to increase the size of the Genius Bars. Last time I was at the Apple Store, the "genius" I worked with could hardly move, he was squished between 2 other people and the very tightly spaced desk-mounted keyboards. I actually suggested that he work from my side of the bar where there was more space.

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post #4 of 48
This is good for the economy and for Apple's image.
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post #5 of 48
I wonder if those laid off get their jobs back? Were any "geniuses" laid off prior?
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I wonder if those laid off get their jobs back? Were any "geniuses" laid off prior?

you're a buffoon - you realize that, right? They laid off 50 people from their enterprise sales group. Hardly noteworthy compared to the thousands laid off at microcrap and elsewhere - not to mention it has more to do with their sales strategy than the economy.

This makes perfect sense to do this sort of thing during an economic downturn. Less foot traffic in the stores means less of an overall disruption. Hotels do it all the time - remodel their rooms while they're empty so they don't have to turn away guests.
post #7 of 48
This will be good for the store I visit. It always seemed so cramped and the one-to-one sessions were done in the same area where people were playing with the display models.

I didn't know they were closing our store and when I went to the mall last week and saw the closed sign, there was a weird emptiness in my stomach. I may have a problem...
post #8 of 48
Make the already best customer experience in a comp store even better, that's pure Apple. Thumbs way up I think
post #9 of 48
Quote:
with larger Genius Bars

Have you looked at some of the Geniuses? They're pretty large already!
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

you're a buffoon - you realize that, right? They laid off 50 people from their enterprise sales group. Hardly noteworthy compared to the thousands laid off at microcrap and elsewhere - not to mention it has more to do with their sales strategy than the economy.

This makes perfect sense to do this sort of thing during an economic downturn. Less foot traffic in the stores means less of an overall disruption. Hotels do it all the time - remodel their rooms while they're empty so they don't have to turn away guests.

No, you're an idiot.
April 24, 2009 Apple (NASD: AAPL) laid off 1,600 employees from its retail stores during the second quarter, according to an SEC filing.

The number represents more than 10% of the company's retail workforce.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10226486-37.html
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Have you looked at some of the Geniuses? They're pretty large already!

They're SuperWozzed.
post #12 of 48
Yep. One of my friends was a genius and was apparently laid off in that group.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

No, you're an idiot.
April 24, 2009 Apple (NASD: AAPL) laid off 1,600 employees from its retail stores during the second quarter, according to an SEC filing.

The number represents more than 10% of the company's retail workforce.

Read the article, my friend. That doesn't mean 1600 people got laid off. It means they employ 1600 fewer "full time equivalent" employees. Let me walk you through it. For example, if 10 part time employees are forced to each work 4 fewer hours per week, that's 40 hours a week and 1 "full time equivalent" employee. Considering every store easily has over 20 people on the payroll, its fair to assume each store could have cut at least 2 "full time equivalent" employees. The fact of the matter is, we don't know the mix of actual layoffs versus hourly cutbacks. Certainly some people were let go entirely, but definitely not 1600.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

You're an idiot.
April 24, 2009 Apple (NASD: AAPL) laid off 1,600 employees from its retail stores during the second quarter, according to an SEC filing.

The number represents more than 10% of the company's retail workforce.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10226486-37.html

That was one of the least informative articles on that matter that I've seen yet. Apple did not lay off 1,600 employees. The term used in your article is "shed", not laid off. Apple shed 1600 full-time positions. If you look up some other articles on the matter you will find that Apple shed most of these jobs not by laying off people, but by not filling vacancies when a person quit. Not hiring is not the same as laying a person off, the closest Apple really came to major layoffs was a reduction of working hours for some.
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post #15 of 48
I only ever had to resort to asking a "genius" for help once, and it turned out they couldn't help me. I brought my notebook and phone and touch into the store. I showed how on my phone I could setup a wifi point, and the notebook could connect and surf the internet just fine. The touch found the network, but no data was getting through.

Their answer for why it wouldn't work varried from the fact that it's a phone and not a true wifi router, to the fact that the phone ran windows mobile and the netbook ran windows, and somehow it was something microsoft was blocking. That was their help to me.

I guess I'm being tough on them being that it was a fairly complicated issue. The solution came in the form of turning the radio power up on the phone, and disabling the DHCP allocator.

Other than that I'm sure they are experts at more basic tasks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

Make the already best customer experience in a comp store even better, that's pure Apple. Thumbs way up I think

Yeah something's way up. Your nose and their ass. (just kidding! )
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

the closest Apple really came to major layoffs was a reduction of working hours for some.

exactly. Some people don't understand there are ways to cut expenses without full-fledged layoffs.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

That was one of the least informative articles on that matter that I've seen yet. Apple did not lay off 1,600 employees. The term used in your article is "shed", not laid off. Apple shed 1600 full-time positions. If you look up some other articles on the matter you will find that Apple shed most of these jobs not by laying off people, but by not filling vacancies when a person quit. Not hiring is not the same as laying a person off, the closest Apple really came to major layoffs was a reduction of working hours for some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

exactly. Some people don't understand there are ways to cut expenses without full-fledged layoffs.



I think the point he was trying to make (even if he lost site of it) was the fact that they made this comment: "We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we're doing the opposite," he told the newspaper. "We're investing in the downturn." all while "shedding" those jobs.

They are being a bit misleading in that statement is all.
post #18 of 48
larger genius bar? thats because its always packed with people having problems with Macs and iPhones LOL
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post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I think the point he was trying to make (even if he lost site of it) was the fact that they made this comment: "We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we're doing the opposite," he told the newspaper. "We're investing in the downturn." all while "shedding" those jobs.

They are being a bit misleading in that statement is all.

what's misleading is the headline to Techduds article, which clearly is as far into the article as he bothered to read.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

Read the article, my friend. That doesn't mean 1600 people got laid off. It means they employ 1600 fewer "full time equivalent" employees. Let me walk you through it. For example, if 10 part time employees are forced to each work 4 fewer hours per week, that's 40 hours a week and 1 "full time equivalent" employee. Considering every store easily has over 20 people on the payroll, its fair to assume each store could have cut at least 2 "full time equivalent" employees. The fact of the matter is, we don't know the mix of actual layoffs versus hourly cutbacks. Certainly some people were let go entirely, but definitely not 1600.

Right - but only 50 as you stated.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

what's misleading is the headline to Techduds article, which clearly is as far into the article as he bothered to read.

You who posts only 50 layoffs- you're a joke.
What headline? Put the pipe down already.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I think the point he was trying to make (even if he lost site of it) was the fact that they made this comment: "We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we're doing the opposite," he told the newspaper. "We're investing in the downturn." all while "shedding" those jobs.

They are being a bit misleading in that statement is all.

Hardly, Johnson says further on in that article that traffic through stores is reduced. Which means they wouldn't need as many staff on the floor, no point wasting money employing full time staffers when they could work half time.
post #23 of 48
Nice changes!
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I think the point he was trying to make (even if he lost site of it) was the fact that they made this comment: "We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we're doing the opposite," he told the newspaper. "We're investing in the downturn." all while "shedding" those jobs.

They are being a bit misleading in that statement is all.

I guess the statement could be considered misleading, although I don't think techstuds intentions were that pedestrian. As far as I can tell, his only intention was to elicit the respnses that he got. I almost didn't post when I realized who it was. I don't like feeding the trolls.
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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

You who posts only 50 layoffs- you're a joke.
What headline? Put the pipe down already.

where is your analysis of anything relevant? Where are your worthwhile contributions to any discussion? I think most people who read these boards are fully aware of who the joke is. Try using that lame disapproving emoticon on yourself.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

No, you're an idiot.
April 24, 2009 Apple (NASD: AAPL) laid off 1,600 employees from its retail stores during the second quarter, according to an SEC filing.

The number represents more than 10% of the company's retail workforce.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10226486-37.html

What part of that article said the layoffs included Apple Geniuses? Read the article again please. There are many different types of retail workers in their stores, and the article doesn't mention WHO was laid off. They have geniuses, sales associates, specialists, managers, etc.
post #27 of 48
Does anyone know where the fourth Manhattan flagship is going to be? EDIT: Nevermind, sorry.

I actually live a block away from the Meatpacking flagship. I can totally steal their internet on my iPod Touch. Doesn't work on my mac, though - I believe they limit the signal to their portable devices.
post #28 of 48
I just hope that, along with the remodeling, that they make sure that the geniuses have proper training before throwing them out there on the 'new&improved' bar. The window dressing will hardly matter if the info that one gets there is either lacking or wrong.

I've read several accounts on different websites over the last few days, where folks had some very uncomplimentary things about the caliber of what passes for 'geniuses' these days. Myself, I've only had two experiences. One was great, couldn't have been better. The guy was obviously seasoned. The other, the guy didn't have a clue. I knew more about the nature of the problem than did he, and spoon fed him enough info that led him to 'discover' the answer that was the fix. Very limited sample size, batting average .500. ;-) Apple hardware is first-rate. OS X is great. Now, if they can iron out the wrinkles and get support first-rate, first time, every time, as well. Don't put someone out there solo until they've been checked good-to-go by the local senior guru. Until then, they need to be shepherded, monitored until they're ready to fly on their own. It's all good.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

What part of that article said the layoffs included Apple Geniuses? Read the article again please. There are many different types of retail workers in their stores, and the article doesn't mention WHO was laid off. They have geniuses, sales associates, specialists, managers, etc.

It won't matter...he's always right and everyone else is an idiot!

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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

I actually live a block away from the Meatpacking flagship. I can totally steal their internet on my iPod Touch. Doesn't work on my mac, though - I believe they limit the signal to their portable devices.

Hmm Does it even show up on your Mac as available?

Every Apple Store Ive been too had open WiFi, though most of them have been in malls and strip shops where there is no residences in range. I suppose they could limit it by the browser type or how the MAC address starts. You could try changing your User Agent, use your iPod Touchs MAC address on your Mac, or jailbreak it so you can tether via WiFi.
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post #31 of 48
The article says that Apple is remodeling some 100 store with bigger Genius Bars.
That's true, but what the article didn't say was that some Apple stores are only getting half the remodel.
The store closest to me the Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh, NC Apple Store got the Genius Bar remodel but was told by Apple corporate that they would not finish out the rest of the store.
So now wear shelves of products use to be there are now 4 or 6 blank was were banners should be hanging.
When I asked one of the employees there that has been working there for some years, he told me that corporate had said they "need(ed) to cut back on expenses".
So even with the rumored 6 million (billion ?) dollars that Apple has to do with as they please, they are cheaping out at some of the medium to smaller stores.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolvie View Post

3 hour one to one's? Yikes...

it sounds like they are combining one to one with the hands on workshop idea. those were 90 minutes and were basically like a group one to one session.

so now instead of a free workshop you would pay to be in a longer but smaller group workshop. it could work. maybe. the trouble is that under the current scheme you can go at your own pace. with 3 folks in a group that is going to get dicey. it will require sticking to the guide book much more.

and how are they going to do the session counts. is it still once a week up to 52 weeks if you can swing it. or will they do an actual count. I think I like the latter actually. for $99 you buy X number of sessions with no date limit and when you run out you buy more (think prepaid phone service v a monthly charge)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I only ever had to resort to asking a "genius" for help once, and it turned out they couldn't help me.

<snip>
to the fact that the phone ran windows mobile and the netbook ran windows, and somehow it was something microsoft was blocking. That was their help to me.

am i reading that right. you went to APPLE Genius about a problem with machines that were running Windows and you are dissing them cause they didn't know how to fix it. Do you go to a Certified Microsoft Tech for help with Leopard too?

As for the whole employee thing. note that the drop in "full time equivalent" workers was pre the holidays v after. anyone that works retail will tell you that companies hire on seasonal help in Nov/Dec that is just temp (and knows it) to deal with higher foot traffic and sales. many of those retail workers likely came from the 4-5 per store part timers that were hired under such a deal.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hmm Does it even show up on your Mac as available?

Every Apple Store Ive been too had open WiFi, though most of them have been in malls and strip shops where there is no residences in range. I suppose they could limit it by the browser type or how the MAC address starts. You could try changing your User Agent, use your iPod Touchs MAC address on your Mac, or jailbreak it so you can tether via WiFi.

The network definitely shows up in the list (as "Apple Network f5ded8") on my Powerbook G4 (yes, laugh at me for my outdated hardware... this is just the computer I use at home). And I can connect to it, but no internet flows through.

It's not really a big issue, I just think it's funny that I'm close enough to gank their Wi-Fi on my iPod from the comfort of my couch. As I understand it, Apple stores are mini-towers 3G towers (I can't find the article, but I think I read that on AI), so I guess if I were on the iPhone I'd also get really great reception here.
post #34 of 48
I learned about the Menlo Park Mall (NJ) store remodeling on Monday. They will be closed 6/1 until 6/25. Hopefully three weeks means a full remodel. My main complaint about the store is that it's extremely loud. All surfaces, including the ceiling, are hard. That makes it both hard to hear during one-to-one training and somewhat exhausting due to the ambient sound level when the store is crowded, which is most of the time. I'm more likely to take time shopping and to spend money in a store that's fairly quiet. Hopefully the remodel will introduce some sound-absorbing surfaces.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hmm Does it even show up on your Mac as available?

Every Apple Store Ive been too had open WiFi, though most of them have been in malls and strip shops where there is no residences in range. I suppose they could limit it by the browser type or how the MAC address starts. You could try changing your User Agent, use your iPod Touchs MAC address on your Mac, or jailbreak it so you can tether via WiFi.


have you ever been to NYC? the Soho store has people living on top of it
post #36 of 48
teckstud, as much as you try to paint Apple in the most negative light possible, it's simply not going to work. For anyone. In light of what Apple has achieved since 2001, esepcially since 2006, and in light of what is about to come, they offer very little, if any, grist for crtics' mills.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

No, you're an idiot.
April 24, 2009 Apple (NASD: AAPL) laid off 1,600 employees from its retail stores during the second quarter, according to an SEC filing.

The number represents more than 10% of the company's retail workforce.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10226486-37.html


The SEC filing indicated that Apple cut back on employee hours, but layoffs were not specifically called out. While the media initially reported this as layoffs, the misinterpretation was rapidly retracted. It is unclear how many people were actually laid off.

So a proper question would be whether this increase in customer support will result in a return of some of those hours. It seems plausible to me, unless the economy gets worse and offsets these increases.

Thompson
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by abrooks View Post

Hardly, Johnson says further on in that article that traffic through stores is reduced. Which means they wouldn't need as many staff on the floor, no point wasting money employing full time staffers when they could work half time.

Reduced traffic can be the result of the economy, which led to their decision. So yes, they were effected by the economy. No point in any store to be wasting money when traffic is reduced as a result of our recession, do you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

am i reading that right. you went to APPLE Genius about a problem with machines that were running Windows and you are dissing them cause they didn't know how to fix it. Do you go to a Certified Microsoft Tech for help with Leopard too?

Well if you take a second and read what I wrote, I wasn't going to them for a problem with Windows. Windows was working just fine on the notebook. I only had the notebook because I had left it in my car from school. I used the notebook to prove that there is a wifi connection being started by my phone, it indeed was working flawlessly, and that I did not need to tamper with any settings for it to work in this way, all while the touch couldn't get any data through at all.

I was hoping they would show me that I had some settings wrong or something with the touch, but no. They had no idea that the DHCP allocator needed to be turned off on the phone (or any wifi router for that matter.) This is something they should have known when walking someone through the steps of getting their touch to connect to a network.

So please, read what people write before trying to insult their intelligence, because in the long run you're only insulting your own.

btw, I wasn't dissing them. I acknowledged the fact that it was a complicated issue.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

teckstud, as much as you try to paint Apple in the most negative light possible, it's simply not going to work. For anyone. In light of what Apple has achieved since 2001, esepcially since 2006, and in light of what is about to come, they offer very little, if any, grist for crtics' mills.

And yet I could tell you a bunch of stuff I hate about Apple LOL.

I love a bunch of stuff about Apple too (actually it outnumbers what I hate about them by a lot) but the fact remains, nobody's perfect.
post #40 of 48
Will the newly expanded Genius Bar have a better selection of tequila?
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