Apple’s retail division has come under fire recently regarding staffing cutbacks and layoffs. Earlier this month, Apple’s newly-appointed head of retail, John Browett, admitted that he “messed up” with the new staffing formula, and that things would go back to normal for retail employees.
According to a new report, Apple’s retail stores are still suffering from new policies that have been implemented under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett. The internal focus has started to shift towards a more revenue-driven strategy instead of a strategy that prioritizes the customer experience.
ifoAppleStore has published a detailed report on the issue, noting that “signs persist of a continuing focus on revenues and profit instead of customer satisfaction.”
Sources say employee performance standards have changed to emphasize the employee sales functions, more small products will be stocked at the stores, and that several budget categories have been slashed, including for store maintenance. All the while, morale continues to drift lower among many retail store employees.
Tim Cook has always been known as the operations mastermind at Apple. While Steve Jobs was driven by a taste for excellence and a love for making the best products, Cook has mainly served Apple by streamlining its supply chain overseas and paying close attention to the bottom line. When Cook became CEO after Jobs died, there were concerns that his different approach to business would fundamentally change Apple as a company.
According to ifoAppleStore, Cook hired John Browett (former CEO of Dixons Retail) because of his “like-minded focus on the more traditional concepts of retailing—logic and process leading to revenues and profits.” Ron Johnson, Apple’s former head of retail, used an approach that was more like Steve Jobs’ mentality: make customer satisfaction and first priority, and revenue will follow.
Make sure to read the entire story from ifoAppleStore for more details regarding the recent changes in Apple Stores. Reduced store maintenance budgets, a push to sell more accessories, employee performance metrics, and more policies are all starting to affect Apple’s retail experience.