It’s a bad time to purchase one of Apple’s latest iMacs if you’re living in Europe. Shipping times for the all-new, all-in-one have slipped for the second time in under a month, and customers are now facing lengthy waits for both the 21.5-inch and the 27-inch models. The former currently has a 3-4 week shipping delay, while its bigger brother will keep you waiting 4-6 weeks.
The recent departure of John Browett has left Apple searching for a new senior executive to lead its retail division. Internally, Apple has had a couple of execs who could fit the bill. One of the top contenders, retail VP Jerry McDougal, has now left Apple for personal reasons.
McDougal’s replacement will be VP of Finance Jim Bean, according to an official statement provided by Apple.
John Browett didn’t last long at Apple. He was brought on by Tim Cook at the beginning of last year to lead Apple’s retail division and then he was fired 9 months later. The former Dixons CEO didn’t mesh well with Apple’s culture, and he caused unrest among Apple Store employees.
Since legendary retail guru Ron Johnson left Apple for JC Penny, Apple hasn’t been able to find the right executive to fill his shoes. Now that Browett is gone, who should Apple give the reigns of Apple retail to?
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at today’s iPhone event and opened with an update on the company’s retail presence. Cook started by showing off Apple’s new Barcelona store and playing a video of the store’s launch.
Apple now has 380 retail stores in 12 countries. The company’s first Swedish store will open on Friday, September 14th. 83 million visitors walked through Apple’s retail stores last year, making the Cupertino company one of the most successful consumer electronics retail chains in history. “Apple stores offer the best buying experience and customer service on the planet,” exclaimed Cook.
While Apple retail is definitely a force to be reckoned with, the company’s digital downloads are also setting the industry standard. Apple customers have downloaded 7 million copies of Mountain Lion since its launch in July, according to Cook. That figure makes Mountain Lion the fastest selling OS X release in history.
Over the weekend, The NY Times posted another investigative piece in its iEconomy series that about Apple. This installment focused on Apple’s retail stores. As with previous articles in the series, this one focuses on legitimate concerns about the American economy in an age of globalization. Like the other pieces, this one targets Apple specifically and ignores the range of Apple competitors that employ similar practices.
The primary issue that the Times brings up with regard to Apple retail stores is that employees can sell thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of Apple products and still earn a relatively modest wage. The underlying sentiment is that if a retail employee sells so much hardware, he should earn more because he is contributing to Apple’s vast revenues.
The only way for things to shake out that way and remain fair would be if Apple offered performance-based awards or commissions. Apple chose not to do that because doing so would have delivered a fundamentally different customer experience than the one envisioned by Steve Jobs – a fact that the NY Times chose not to explore in any real depth.