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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In the latest installment of its "iEconomy" series of articles, The New York Times takes a look at Apple's retail stores, examining the compensation offered to its employees responsible for fueling booming sales in the division. The article features quotes from a number of former Apple retail store employees, including MacRumors' own Jordan Golson.

jobs_retailing_is_hard.jpg



The new report takes the stance that Apple is not paying its retail staff enough given the success of the stores, instead relying on its employees' devotion to the company and a strong fan base providing a massive pool of job applicants to keep its retail stores staffed.
Within this world, the Apple Store is the undisputed king, a retail phenomenon renowned for impeccable design, deft service and spectacular revenues. Last year, the company's 327 global stores took in more money per square foot than any other United States retailer -- wireless or otherwise -- and almost double that of Tiffany, which was No. 2 on the list, according to the research firm RetailSails.

Worldwide, its stores sold $16 billion in merchandise.

But most of Apple's employees enjoyed little of that wealth. While consumers tend to think of Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., as the company's heart and soul, a majority of its workers in the United States are not engineers or executives with hefty salaries and bonuses but rather hourly wage earners selling iPhones and MacBooks.
The report notes that roughly 70% of Apple's 43,000 U.S. workers are retail store employees, with many of them earning in the neighborhood of $25,000 per year. Apple's pay rates are above average for the retail sector, but the Times argues that with each retail store employee bringing in an average of $500,000 in sales per year Apple is not a typical retailer.

The latest iEconomy report comes just days after Apple began offering raises of up to 25% to many of its retail store employees, with speculation suggesting that the move was made to address the criticism set to appear in the report. Apple last week also launched new employee hardware discounts of $500 off of a Mac or $250 off of an iPad, on top of existing 25% employee discounts.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Reuters)

Article Link: Apple's Retail Store Staff Compensation Criticized
 

levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,118
3,560
If the Apple Store don't like their salaries, they are more than welcome to go work somewhere else.

Capitalism wins here.
 

LagunaSol

macrumors 601
Apr 3, 2003
4,798
0
Wow, yet another anti-capitalism, anti-Apple diatribe from the NYT. What a surprise. Perhaps the government should mandate pay rates based on a company's success in the marketplace. Am I right comrades?
 

jelew1985

macrumors member
May 12, 2011
54
14
So if each employee brings in an average of $500,000 a year and take home $25,000 a year then that is roughly 5% of their total sales. Ya thats a little low. However, they could just increase the percentage to like 7% which would bring in roughly $35,000 a year for the employees. That would be a dramatic jump in pay. That is if they were being paid commission.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,037
65
Plymouth, MN
I remember working retail - I got crap for compensation besides the ability to work extra shifts every so often. I would regularly ring up transactions for hundreds of dollars. We never sold computers, but I sold the most expensive stuff in the store. I bet if I sold computers only, I would be treated the same way that Apple employees do. And they make more money than I did.

Retail employees almost never make a lot of money - even if the company they work for makes millions of money. That’s just a fact of the retail versus corporate side of business. If you want to make money working retail is not the route to take.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,197
134
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Retailing IS hard. I had a brief spell at it after my wife died and I just wanted a job, Any job to take my mind off things. I worked for Tiny Computers (Now long defunct) first part time, and then as a manager in the Cardiff store.

The hours were long, the pressure to sell extended warranties intense, and I left because I believed that the ethos was immoral...I was however very well paid. I hired all female staff based on the theory that they sell better...They did, and my store was consistently top of the sales tables.

I left to start my own business, taking with me many of the staff I had hired!

Any retail environment is tough, and I don't begrudge Apple staff the pay rise one bit. They have to deal with awkward customers on a daily basis.
 

NorEaster

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2012
239
23
Wow, yet another anti-capitalism, anti-Apple diatribe from the NYT. What a surprise. Perhaps the government should mandate pay rates based on a company's success in the marketplace. Am I right comrades?

Did you read the article? Where in it did the NYT propose that the government should mandate pay raises based on company success? Stop trying to make this political. If you disagree with the NYT's perspective, that's your prerogative. But turning this political is a bit silly.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
6,082
2,106
Western US
This is pretty ridiculous, since when do companies "share" their wealth with employees based on dollars earned per square foot? They aren't owners, they're employees. As long as their compensation is comparable to other retail jobs, where's the problem? No one gets rich working retail, that sucks but that's just the way it is. You want to get rich then write some software after leaving the Apple Store.
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,429
3
Pacific Coast, USA
When a company is as successful as Apple is, they draw a lot of attention. It's not unusual for them to be scrutinized. Apple loves the headlines anyway. The more attention the better. It's what makes the brand a very recognized name.
 

Sardonick007

macrumors regular
May 18, 2011
239
2
Ha...Never enough

I don't know how things are in the real world, but here in crapville Florida the so called "geniuses" and the rest of the staff aren't worth what a burger slinger makes.
 

levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,118
3,560
We recently put a job opening up on Craigslist for a small retail store in NY for pretty much a stock boy / delivery boy position at 8 bucks an hour with no health benefits. We got over 200 applicants in 7 days.

Making 12 bucks an hour, plus full medical and 401K in a mall selling computers that essentially sell themselves is pretty sweet in my opinion.
 

khovland92

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2012
50
0
Connecticut
So if each employee brings in an average of $500,000 a year and take home $25,000 a year then that is roughly 5% of their total sales. Ya thats a little low. However, they could just increase the percentage to like 7% which would bring in roughly $35,000 a year for the employees. That would be a dramatic jump in pay. That is if they were being paid commission.

but they arent, and for good reason. When you walk into an apple store, no1 is pushy, no1 is trying to sly you into buying anything. They are just good employees who are paid better then average, get apple discounts, and get good experience at to how a company should run. Making a career out of a retail sales clerk is silly.
 

tomtom2234

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2010
80
0
New Orleans
They can feel free to quit their job and let me take their place. I'd gladly work there while in college. Big discounts on Apple hardware and decent pay, what more is there to ask for?
 

WindWaker

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2011
182
0
USA
For an entry level job with minimal training, that's not too bad. Apple could definitely shell out more to its employees, but ultimately, Apple is a company which has a goal to make money.

That said, Apple is pretty generous in many ways to its retail store workers. Every time I've asked an employee at an Apple Store about his/ her benefits and pay, they generally have nothing but good things to say (both inside and outside of work).
 

peteullo

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2009
244
56
Scranton, PA
I think these journalists need to realize that working in retail and working for a company whos products you love and appreciate are two different things.
 

TMar

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,679
1
Ky
They are selling electronics. They are selling electronics. They are selling electronics.

In case you missed it they are selling electronics. It's not strenuous physical labor. They are not 1000's of feet above or below ground. They are not working in hazardous conditions, with heavy machinery or around any number of things that could kill or injure them. They are not even doing skilled delicate tedious work that requires years of training. They are selling electronics.
 

deftdrummer

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2008
142
1
San Diego
Another thing to consider here especially in light of the revamped hardware pricing for employees is that Apple is making cash hand over fist because employees are recycling the money right back into apple by buying their products.

It's a double win for apple so to me I don't see any harm in upping their salaries because the money will still likely go right back to Apple in a big way
 

jelew1985

macrumors member
May 12, 2011
54
14
but they arent, and for good reason. When you walk into an apple store, no1 is pushy, no1 is trying to sly you into buying anything. They are just good employees who are paid better then average, get apple discounts, and get good experience at to how a company should run. Making a career out of a retail sales clerk is silly.

Where I work at we are all on commission and we aren't pushy at all. As a matter of fact, its against our selling policies. However, we do get paid very well for what we do.

So, if Apple were to implement an commission based pay they could set it up with strict selling rules that would prohibit sales persons from being greedy or pushy.

I am curious to why being a sales clerk would be silly as a career? You can make a killing if you are in the right position and right market.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,037
65
Plymouth, MN
This is pretty ridiculous, since when do companies "share" their wealth with employees based on dollars earned per square foot? They aren't owners, they're employees. As long as their compensation is comparable to other retail jobs, where's the problem? No one gets rich working retail, that sucks but that's just the way it is. You want to get rich then write some software after leaving the Apple Store.

It’s Apple! They are successful and therefore they must be held to impossible standards.

When a company is as successful as Apple is, they draw a lot of attention. It's not unusual for them to be scrutinized. Apple loves the headlines anyway. The more attention the better. It's what makes the brand a very recognized name.

Doesn’t matter. It’s ridiculous on how the press targets Apple or anybody because they make money. Nobody questions the working environment of Exxon employees who work incredibly hazardous jobs around explosive chemicals year round. Nobody talks about Best Buy or Wall Mart even though they make billions every year too. It’s purely attention grabbing and I despise it.

I am curious to why being a sales clerk would be silly as a career? You can make a killing if you are in the right position and right market.
That depends highly on what you sell and how valuable you are. 95% of retail employees do not make anything above minimum hourly wage. Not a whole lot even if you work for a major big company. Now if you are selling cars and making commission on each sale along with a regular salary (with guaranteed hours) then yea. Not too many people that can do that though.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
23,093
29,231
I wish Apple would tell the NY Times to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Of course they won't because Tim Cook is too nice of a guy.
 

chinesedemo

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2011
101
103
These people work in ******** retail? What do they think they are worth? As a stockholder I see where this is going and I am not ******** pleased. I love how defeatism spreads in America. Those retail employees are able to sell so much per square foot because of what the big boys do. Apple retail would have done just as well if you had monkeys instead of human employes. They are retail workers, any one on Earth can do their job. Hence the low pay. It's appropriate for what they do. If we start going this direction we are all f*cked. Because I want more compensation now too?
 

MacNewsFix

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2007
653
0
Twin Cities
The company also offers very good benefits for a retailer, including health care, 401(k) contributions and the chance to buy company stock, as well as Apple products, at a discount.​

401(k) contributions and, more so, health care are worth their weight in gold. Ask anybody that has had to go without them.
 
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