Apple putting the squeeze on retail employees as some stores see traffic double

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014




With sales booming in line with a rapid rate of innovative product introductions, Apple's international retail chain has come under heavy pressure from a striking increase in customer traffic, prompting the company to initiate tighter scheduling restrictions for employees who'll now be required to spend more of their weekend downtime on the job.



Demand for Apple's products has resulted in a steep uptick in visitor traffic among the company's retail stores, with some locations reporting a doubling of their traffic over the past four years, according to a report by IFOAppleStore.



Following the appointment of a new retail head, Apple's stores are reportedly "changing weekend work requirements, and increasing the mandatory minimum hours for part-timers," a new policy that hasn't gone over well with some retail workers.



Current full-time workers are reportedly now "required to work at least one weekend day each week." However, due to the increased store traffic Apple is said to be gearing up to start counting Friday as a "weekend day," and is stipulating that even full timers, including Family Room and Red Zone Specialists, Creatives and Geniuses, must work two of the three weekend days, when visitors peak.



The report notes, "full-time employees must already accommodate Apple by being available to work every hour their store is open, up to 40 hours per week. Part-timers must also offer wide availability, but only for a certain 40-hour window determined by management."



Under the revised rules, which are said to become effective April 15, part-time workers' minimum weekly hours are being boosted from 16 hours to 24 hours. Apple reportedly said it would "try to accommodate time-off requests (made three weeks in advance)," but the new rules are causing some employees to consider whether or not to quit their employment with Apple.



Apple's retail workers in the US and in other affluent areas face the opposite criticisms of its contract manufacturing partners located largely in China. There, worker advocates are fighting to reduce the number of hours, particularly overtime hours, that individuals are asked to work.



After winning concessions from Foxconn management to limit the numbers of overtime hours workers can perform in a month, some workers have complained that they want to work long hours where they are paid more for overtime.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,698member
    Sounds reasonable to me. People should be glad that they have jobs.



    If anybody doesn't like it, then quit.
  • Reply 2 of 74
    luxom3luxom3 Posts: 96member
    FWIW - Apple, time to rethink CHANNEL partner relationships. You're dinky stores are nice, but weren't designed to handle the traffic...
  • Reply 3 of 74
    luxom3luxom3 Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Sounds reasonable to me. People should be glad that they have jobs.



    If anybody doesn't like it, then quit.



    Dude, you ever work retail during Christmas? Imagine that 24 x7 at Apple. It's some crazy stress.
  • Reply 4 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Sounds reasonable to me. People should be glad that they have jobs.



    If anybody doesn't like it, then quit.



    This^



    Not news. This is how retail works.
  • Reply 5 of 74
    Hmmm...



    First, Apple's problem with having too much money.



    Second, now its stores are too small.



    Boy, I wonder how many companies and retailers out there would love to have these kind problems.



    I guess Ron Johnson left Apple a bit too early.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post


    FWIW - Apple, time to rethink CHANNEL partner relationships. You're dinky stores are nice, but weren't designed to handle the traffic...



  • Reply 6 of 74
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post


    Dude, you ever work retail during Christmas? Imagine that 24 x7 at Apple. It's some crazy stress.



    Sure, I've had a few crappy jobs before. Luckily for me, that was a long time ago.



    I've more than paid my dues and I've put in some crazy hours in the past and I don't feel sorry for anybody stuck with a crappy job today. Like I said, they can quit if they don't like it.



    Somebody shouldn't get into retail, if they are fussy about their own hours or if they're looking for lots of weekend time.
  • Reply 7 of 74
    You are correct. I've worked in retail in my college years. I remember working the late nights into 2 a.m. and giving up my weekends.



    It's a dog eat dog environment.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post


    This^



    Not news. This is how retail works.



  • Reply 8 of 74
    jbrunijbruni Posts: 29member
    I've worked retail in my college days, mostly at stores pitching products I didn't personally really like. Yes Christmas time is busy and you spend a lot of time on your feet.



    Too bad Apple wasn't in the 90s what they are today. If I'm going to work retail, an Apple store would be my first pick. There is a certain intrinsic gratification helping someone purchase something they will enjoy. And, that only comes with selling products you like.
  • Reply 9 of 74
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    We need an investigation into unfair labor practices in Apple retail.



    /s
  • Reply 10 of 74
    isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    I wonder if Mike Daisey will incorporate this into his next show?
  • Reply 11 of 74
    easy288easy288 Posts: 80member
    Hire more people. Don't need an MBA to figure this out. Duh!



    With Apple's global market share, it should not be difficult to find people who are already somewhat familiar with Apple's products. Some training needed.



    Don't be cheap. Spend some of that $100 billion. Clearly unhappy workers make for bad customer experience.
  • Reply 12 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Hire more people. Don't need an MBA to figure this out. Duh!



    With Apple's global market share, it should not be difficult to find people who are already somewhat familiar with Apple's products. Some training needed.



    Don't be cheap. Spend some of that $100 billion. Clearly unhappy workers make for bad customer experience.



    And be bombarded with 20 more bodies inside the already canned fish environment?



    Not.
  • Reply 13 of 74
    obamaobama Posts: 62member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Sounds reasonable to me. People should be glad that they have jobs.



    If anybody doesn't like it, then quit.



    This isn't china. There are labor laws in this country.



    Forty hours a week is enough. People need weekends off to spend time with their families and remember why we do what we do.



    You'll find out what I mean when you're old enough to go to work someday.
  • Reply 14 of 74
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,866member
    As such I can see Apple spending billions this year on replacement stores.



    Honestly the last time I went to an Apple store just finding room to stand was an issue. This is not a good customer experience. So yeah the stores are to small, frankly they don't even have all of Apples products properly displayed. Items like AppleTV, Mac Pro, and even the Mini are hidden away out of sight.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post


    Hmmm...



    First, Apple's problem with having too much money.



    Second, now its stores are too small.



    Boy, I wonder how many companies and retailers out there would love to have these kind problems.



    I guess Ron Johnson left Apple a bit too early.



    Maybe he was the problem! Really it does look like very poor planning on Apples part.
  • Reply 15 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Hire more people. Don't need an MBA to figure this out. Duh!



    With Apple's global market share, it should not be difficult to find people who are already somewhat familiar with Apple's products. Some training needed.



    Don't be cheap. Spend some of that $100 billion. Clearly unhappy workers make for bad customer experience.



    That's not how businesses work here in America. You are supposed to squeeze employees for every penny possible. Then divide up all the profits at the top to executives and shareholders, duh!
  • Reply 16 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Sounds reasonable to me. People should be glad that they have jobs.



    If anybody doesn't like it, then quit.



    If Apple cares about customer experience, that's the stupidest formulation they could possibly work under. A poorly treated workforce cannot magically result in good customer service:



    1. Those who stay will be stressed out.

    2. Those who leave will be the best ones, by definition, since they are the ones who can most easily find a job with better conditions.

    3. Poor working conditions leads to high turnover. High turnover means lots of new staff who don't know the products as well.



    Let's recall that John Browett headed Dixons, and Dixons has a terrible reputation for customer service. If his formula for treating workers is the idiotic "take it or leave it" approach you advocate, now we know why.
  • Reply 17 of 74
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Hire more people.





    Filling already stuffed stores with more people working perhaps 10 hours a week isn't really all that great a solution. Especially for employees that would like to have more hours (same complaint as the Foxconn workers)



    And if you look at the comments on the original article there's a guy (girl?) claiming to be an employee that says that some of these changes aren't changes at all, they have been around for years. Or are just wrong. Like the part timers having 16 hours of availability a week. This guy claims that's been that way for several years and it's not hours at all. It's actually days. they have to have 3 days of totally open time to work as needed. And apparently in at least some areas (I'm guessing big ones like LA and NYC) even part timers have to have one day on the weekend they can work. I suppose to be fair to everyone. I mean it would suck to be a full timer and having to work all weekend while the part timers get to party or vice versa
  • Reply 18 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post


    This^



    Not news. This is how retail works.



    Yes, but when Apple does it, it's a SCANDAL!
  • Reply 19 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Hire more people. Don't need an MBA to figure this out. Duh!



    With Apple's global market share, it should not be difficult to find people who are already somewhat familiar with Apple's products. Some training needed.



    Don't be cheap. Spend some of that $100 billion. Clearly unhappy workers make for bad customer experience.







    Apple will do whatever yields them the highest total profits.



    Hiring more workers is not the correct strategy. Unhappy workers can be fired instantly and replaced. Redundant reserves of workers cost money for things like benefits and accounting costs. While either strategy has costs, Apple chose the former as the most likely path to maximum profits. My guess is that Apple knows what it is doing. Most retail works this way.
  • Reply 20 of 74
    I worked at an apple store... they work you to death... like the user said you can quite...I would say stay and become a union... Then the entire squeeze will stop... That's how retail workers, change Apple
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