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Apple admit ‘mess up’ with retail store staffing

John Browett, Apple’s senior vice president of retail has admitted to employees that they made mistakes with the staffing levels, which led to unfavourable reports that Apple were cutting employees.

Browett took command of Apple retail stores in April and they apparently tried a new staffing formula which caused some issues employees, receiving hourly shift cuts and retail store locations to be understaffed. The company realised after a few weeks that the new system wasn’t working at all. Apple ended up reverting to the old system.

Browett told the leadership teams across the globe to tell employees that ‘We messed up’. The information came from two people close to the communication. No one was paid off during the new staffing procedure, but it caused issues for the shift schedules. Browett wanted the staff to understand that they would be hiring new staff.

Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman issued a statement which read “Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed. Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”

The staffing cock up was embarrassing for Apple as it led to a series of reports indicating that Apple were cutting employee hours and firing some staff in the process. Employees were concerned that the company would be axing more jobs as they were seeing reduced schedules, by up to 50%. A few part time employees said that they were losing $1,000 in wages due to the changes.

Apple retail stores began operating in 2001 and have been a huge revenue maker for the company, especially as inexperienced users can seek help from Apple ‘genius’ staff.

Kitguru says: Browett moved to Apple from Dixons Retail PLC, and this early public mishap is sure to have proven unpopular with CEO Tim Cook.

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