Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has recently admitted that latest staffing changes it implemented in its retail stores, selling iPhones, iPads and Macs, were a mistake and is reversing the policies. A layoff was announced at some locations and working hours were reduced as part of a plan implemented by Apple’s new retail chief, John Browett, according to a store employee with knowledge of the changes.
The plan became the cause of news reports that the Cupertino, California-based Apple was firing employees in stores in London and elsewhere. The about-face comes as workers at the iPhone maker’s more than 370 retail stores are gearing up for the launch of the most recent iPhone, as well as the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
Browett took reign as senior vice president of retail four months ago, previously he was employed at Dixons Retail Plc, the U.K.-based electronics store chain where he was positioned as chief executive officer. In June, he had declared a round of increments for retail workers.
At some places, Apple also has been restraining transfers among workers who want to work in a different store, according to the retail worker. This person reported that the changes were due to Browett’s arrival. Immediately responding, Apple said it would return to its old policy.
Kristin Huguet, who is a spokeswoman for Apple, said they applied some changes in retail staffing and making those changes was a mistake, therefore the changes are being reversed. Dow Jones was the first to report the reversal. The report revealed that Apple had changed its staffing formula, which caused less hours and some short-staffed stores.
In the company’s last quarter, retail stores contributed $4.1 billion in revenue, 17 percent more than a year earlier. Average store revenue moved to $11.1 million, with 83 million people visiting the stores.
With the staffing change, Apple has reversed its decision for the second time in a month. The company said on July 13 it had made a “mistake” when dropping out of an environmental rating system. That step had drawn criticism from environmental groups and threatened to reduce sales to some governments and universities.