Even though Apple hype is nearing a fever pitch right now, things might not be so great for the company’s retail channel.
There have been increasing reports about Apple laying off significant numbers of employees at its retail store locations, most prominently in the UK but it seems no region has very solid job security.
In the US, for example, part-time hourly employees have reported significant cutbacks in the number of hours they are receiving, with some scaling back all the way to 0 hours even though they haven’t been officially laid off.
In addition, full-time staff who received promotions and promised pay raises have reported that the company scaled them back to their old position and old salary rate.
The people most affected are new hires, with some employees who just completed their training getting unceremonious pink slips.
This all comes after Apple had been maligned in the media for treating its retail employees unfairly. Reports of low wages and strict policies on when vacation time is and is not allowed are among the complaints that has caused Apple to place a new focus on its retail division.
The stores that do well provide significant margins for Apple, but just like any retail company, Apple keeps building new stores and at some point you hit diminishing returns.
In addition, much of Apple’s corporate expertise is not focused on retail. It isn’t Best Buy or Amazon, so no doubt it is having a tough time being a master of that space.