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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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Apple 'Messed Up' with Retail Store Cutbacks, Denies Mass Layoffs




Following our report from earlier this week regarding word from Apple retail store sources of cutbacks and layoffs, Dow Jones Newswires now shares word that Apple has acknowledged that it "messed up" in adjusting its staffing formulas, although the company denies mass layoffs at its stores.
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In a communication with store leadership teams, senior vice president of retail, John Browett, who took the reins of Apple's retail stores in April, said that the company had been trying a new staffing formula for its retail stores, leading some employees to see their hourly shifts cut and retail locations to be understaffed. This happened for a few weeks before the company decided to revert to its older system, hoping to rectify the problem.

He instructed leadership teams to tell employees, "We messed up," according to two people who were aware of the communication, which also stressed that while shift schedules were affected, no one was laid off. He also wanted employees to know that it was hiring new staff, these people said.

Apple acknowledged the retail staffing changes. "Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed," said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. "Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve."



Despite Apple's claims that "no one was laid off", we have indeed heard from several Apple employees who have been laid off in recent weeks, with several of them independently claiming that there have been others, although some have called the moves "isolated" while others have characterized them as "many". ifoAppleStore reported yesterday that the cutbacks were made by Browett in an effort to meet profit goals and encourage the "bloated" store staffs to run "leaner", despite the objections of retail veterans within the company.

We did receive an unconfirmed report yesterday claiming that at least some stores held meetings addressing the issue, with promises that the cut hours would be restored and a phone call from Apple's corporate offices apologizing for the situation. It was unclear, however, exactly which employees were included in those meetings.

This is the second high-profile acknowledgment of a "mistake" on Apple's part in recent weeks, with Apple just last month having backpedaled on removing its products from the EPEAT environmental registry. In that case, Apple senior vice president Bob Mansfield posted an open letter apologizing for the company's error.

Article Link: Apple 'Messed Up' with Retail Store Cutbacks, Denies Mass Layoffs
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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Well, they can count on those hours coming back with new iPhones, iPod touches and maybe iPad minis coming. Don't count out mac pros and iMacs either. Could be a busy holiday.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:48 AM   #3
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Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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John Browett's first cock-up. How many more before Apple finds out what everyone in the UK knew all along?
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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He won't rein long With a cockup like this. To me, it looks totally unprofessional, if the Apple VP team went into any Currys, PCWorld or Comet they could see his god awful retail experience first hand.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Interesting... I always love to see Apple admit their wrong-doings, though. Shows a lot.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:50 AM   #7
macchiato2009
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great job Mr John Browett, great job...

this guy is a genius

Apple really needed a talent like him...


thank God, Steve Jobs is no longer here to see that...
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:51 AM   #8
joelisfar
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(typo report: "acknowledged that it 'messed up' it adjusting"

should be "'messed up' IN adjusting")

What's the right way to point out typos here?
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FNi View Post
John Browett's first cock-up. How many more before Apple finds out what everyone in the UK knew all along?
Yep, my first thought too!!
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
At least they're consistent.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
Having worked some retail back in the day, they probably did just mess up - especially since someone new took over. A lot of VP's would never pen a letter saying they messed up.

I'd rather have them say they messed up then stand by bad decisions.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelisfar View Post
(typo report: "acknowledged that it 'messed up' it adjusting"

should be "'messed up' IN adjusting")

What's the right way to point out typos here?
Thanks...fixed.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:52 AM   #13
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It takes a lot of courage for a large company to admit to an error and to apologize.

Kudos Apple!
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelisfar View Post
(typo report: "acknowledged that it 'messed up' it adjusting"

should be "'messed up' IN adjusting")

What's the right way to point out typos here?
Email tips@macrumors.com to reach all the writers.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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John Browett will become one of the worst hiring decisions of the most crucial aspect to Apple's structure: retail. Apple retail store's are the face of the company; placing John Browett at the helm is tantamount to placing a former Lehman Brothers executive as CFO.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:54 AM   #16
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good for those apple employees. If you are working in retail, apple seems like a good company to do it for.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:55 AM   #17
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Let me borrow something many of you use about apple products,

If its not broken why "fix it"?

Now we know who apple's own Balmer is
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:55 AM   #18
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Way to go John Browett! *slow clap*
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
Indeed. Second mess up in a very short time. If they really come out with the small dock connector that will be number three.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:57 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mac21ND View Post
Having worked some retail back in the day, they probably did just mess up - especially since someone new took over. A lot of VP's would never pen a letter saying they messed up.

I'd rather have them say they messed up then stand by bad decisions.
I wonder who actually had the courage to comment on the staffing mess up? I'm betting it wasn't John Browett like what the article claims. It would have been some old skool long time employee.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:57 AM   #21
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
What else are you expecting above them admitting a mistake? They didn't say it was an error or some other error beyond their direct control. They admitted fault.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 11:59 AM   #23
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I've got a better idea, hire back those who were laid off and fire the guy John Browett - it is clear he doesn't know what the hell he is doing. There is a reason why the likes of Currys, PCWorld or Comet were happy to see the back of him.

Edit: Years of experience doing something doesn't mean you're good at it - I played piano for 5 years, it doesn't mean I'm actually any good at it.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 12:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
I'd rather them tell me they messed up than to deny all fault. Just look at antenna gate. Hopefully it doesn't happen too often though
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 12:01 PM   #25
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In the meetng Johns puts up a chart showing the cuts in retail help, investors show worry ontheir face.
John pauses and flips the chart around and the chart now shows an increase in retail help, investors cheer and go back counting their millions.

Obviously he was holding the chart wrong
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