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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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ifoAppleStore reports that Apple is tweaking several aspects of its retail store operations as it moves into the holiday sales season. Among the changes are an adjustment to color-coded t-shirts for various types of employees and a shift from using Windows CE-based EasyPay mobile checkout devices to iPod touches using barcode scanner accessories and custom point-of-sale software.

According to the report, Apple will abandon its existing policy of having its various classes of employees (such as concierges, specialists, creative, and geniuses) attired in different colors of Apple t-shirts and shift to a single color of t-shirt for all employees. The color of the t-shirt would change over time, but a consistent color for all employees at one time will likely make it easier for customers to identify store employees.
First, Apple will drop the aircraft carrier-like T-shirts that are color-coded to indicate the employees' skills. Visitors have reported that seeing orange, dark blue, light blue, medium blue and black T-shirts is simply confusing. Beginning soon, the entire store staff will wear the same color T-shirt, with that color changing from time to time.
MacRumors has separately heard that Apple is also planning to consolidate several of its retail store positions in order to allow more flexibility in the tasks handled by each sales floor employee.

Apple's switch to the iPod touch as a checkout device will address several issues, not the least of which has been reported frustration on the part of retail store employees over the performance of the current EasyPay devices. The new iPod touch-based systems will reportedly allow for a single pass of the barcode reader to register multiple codes present on many Apple products, speeding the checkout process. The new system will also reportedly allow sales staff to accept cash for transactions.
First, the iPod touch scanner will allow employees to capture data from products that have multiple barcodes using a single pass, including the UPC, Apple serial number and product code, cellular IMEI and ICCI numbers. Second, the new set-up will allow employees to accept cash for purchases without hiking to a central register position.
Apple has been taking several steps to alter the functionality of its retail stores as they remain popular with customers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the company's products. Last month, the company rolled out iPhone Activation Zones to assist iPhone purchasers with picking up and preparing their devices for use in what can be a crowded and confusing retail store setting.

Article Link: Apple Revamping Retail Store Staffing and Checkout Tools
 

Wotan31

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2008
491
0
They need to fix their stores. Always takes 20 minutes just to check out cause all the workers are busy. It was better when they had dedicated cash registers instead of just people floating around. That is, if you can even figure out who the employees are. Different color shirts, some are wearing shorts and sandals, they look like hipster doofus college kids, not employees on the job. Bravo for changing to a single color shirt, it's long overdue.
 

MWPULSE

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2008
706
1
London
I personally was never really all that bothered by the colour coding. I knew that the ones with the bright shirts, n think different on the front et al were sales people. N I took my complaint/question/issue to them. Sorted


Anything to help us pay faster though right? Maybe they are changing colours cos of msft stores?? :)
 

baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,689
2,223
This all sounds good to me, I'm always confused with identifying employees, especially that they just walk around and they're not behind a cash desk or anything. But I still find it strange that you have to find someone if you want to buy something instead of going to a checkout desk. Since there's no cue, I never know how long I have to wait, so I just walk around looking for Apple guys... But at the same time it's way more personal than the cash register method.
 

Peace

Cancelled
Apr 1, 2005
19,546
4,555
Space The Only Frontier
I personally was never really all that bothered by the colour coding. I knew that the ones with the bright shirts, n think different on the front et al were sales people. N I took my complaint/question/issue to them. Sorted


Anything to help us pay faster though right? Maybe they are changing colours cos of msft stores?? :)

Microsoft stores ? you mean all one ( maybe two ) of them ?
 

McShizzel

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2008
195
0
Canada
Honestly the first time I entered an Apple Store I didn't know about the different sales people (concierges, specialists, creative, and geniuses), it wasn't till I applied to work at an Apple Store when I found out about the different sales people.
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,811
1
They need to fix their stores. Always takes 20 minutes just to check out cause all the workers are busy. It was better when they had dedicated cash registers instead of just people floating around. That is, if you can even figure out who the employees are. Different color shirts, some are wearing shorts and sandals, they look like hipster doofus college kids, not employees on the job. Bravo for changing to a single color shirt, it's long overdue.

cant disagree more.
 

panoz7

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
904
1
Raleigh, NC
They need to fix their stores. Always takes 20 minutes just to check out cause all the workers are busy. It was better when they had dedicated cash registers instead of just people floating around. That is, if you can even figure out who the employees are. Different color shirts, some are wearing shorts and sandals, they look like hipster doofus college kids, not employees on the job. Bravo for changing to a single color shirt, it's long overdue.

Exactly. I try to avoid purchasing at apple stores due to their crazy check out system. What was so wrong with a checkout counter that they decided to eliminate it? It seems to work fine in every other store. I hate having to wander aimlessly through the store hunting for someone in a random colored t-shirt in the hope that they're not already helping someone else.

cant disagree more.

Care to explain why?
 

iSimx

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2007
389
8
yes, a few years ago when I first went into an apple store, the colour coded shirts was confusing... ... it still is.

Anyway, I'm like the new barcode scanner idea using an ipod touch. Should have been done ages ago.
 

Smith288

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2008
1,156
815
I used to make fun of the salepeople who would check me out. I would say "must suck having to use Microsoft's technology to run your commerce when you guys claim their software is inferior..."
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,859
1,731
This all sounds good to me, I'm always confused with identifying employees, especially that they just walk around and they're not behind a cash desk or anything. But I still find it strange that you have to find someone if you want to buy something instead of going to a checkout desk. Since there's no cue, I never know how long I have to wait, so I just walk around looking for Apple guys... But at the same time it's way more personal than the cash register method.

I have nerver had this issue. But are store is a smaller store.
 

AgingGeek

macrumors regular
May 21, 2007
104
0
Kind of nice they won't be relying on Windows to conduct business anymore. Seemed almost embarrassing to me.

YES, and I point that out to them everytime I go in there. In fact, everytime they had trouble with the device (which seemed a lot), I'd have them flip it over, point to the windowsCE logo, and say "There's the problem!".
 

freediverdude

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2006
573
0
So wait, if this is going to allow the employees to take cash with an iPod Touch, then are they all going to have to carry around big pockets of change or a big apron with lots of change in it? That doesn't seem very good either.
 

Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,917
1,464
Birmingham, UK
Exactly. I try to avoid purchasing at apple stores due to their crazy check out system. What was so wrong with a checkout counter that they decided to eliminate it?

So it wasn't just me then. Often I see many a confused shopper trying to pay. A shop needs a dedicated area to pay especially at busy times. I don't mind the remote pay option, it can be quick and easy. But it shouldn't be the only choice.
 

Richard1028

macrumors 68000
Jan 8, 2009
1,577
0
Apple will abandon its existing policy of having its various classes of employees (such as concierges, specialists, creative, and geniuses) attired in different colors of Apple t-shirts and shift to a single color of t-shirt for all employees.
Well duh...

This was the stupidest idea to begin with. What idiot ever came up with this to begin with?

Apple is also planning to consolidate several of its retail store positions in order to allow more flexibility in the tasks handled by each sales floor employee.

Translation: In an effort to cut back on staff and make more money, Apple will have each employee do more.

Why don't they just come out and say it? :D

The new system will also reportedly allow sales staff to accept cash for transactions.
You mean you currently can't use cash at an Apple store? :eek:
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
6,431
3,403
Georgia
I didn't know they used Windows mobile for their point of sale. Why hadn't they been using Macs all along? I know that in the 90's Apple resellers were using Macs for there register's so why wouldn't Apple?

Not only are there (or should I say were there when the first Apple Store opened) numerous point of sale programs for the Mac OS. There are many robust UNIX programs that Apple could have ported to handle numerous stores. I'm sure any of those small companies would have been thrilled to let Apple port the product, and sold them a generous licensing agreement, just to have many more retail locations open to them then UNIX alone offers.

When my father's rental company was looking to replace it's System's in the late 90's I was considering moving him to Mac, unfortunately the software program we needed for rental Management was over $20,000 plus data entry for hundreds of thousands of entries for the Mac versus a $6,000 software upgrade for UNIX. Also they did not support Mac OS X Server 1.0 which a Server was need to handle multiple locations.
 

scottuf

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2009
361
21
NPB, FL
i've always been confused as to why apply would use windows mobile devices for their checkout system, especially with the "there's an app for that" ads specifically pointing to their own hardware and software doing it. about time they switched!!!
 
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