Apple Stores: Defeat from the jaws of victory

Posted on by Mike Evans

Pietro Montalcino of quotes a report in concerning Apple’s retail backtrack:

Browett’s decision reportedly came despite strongly-worded advice from Retail segment veterans that reducing personnel ahead of the annual Back-to-School promotion and the September introduction of the iPhone 5 could create a customer service catastrophe,” reads the report. “Browett disagreed with his staff, and said the chain needs to learn to run ‘leaner’ in all areas, even if the customer experience is compromised.

Pietro fears “Dixons times ahead” and I have to agree. I have absolutely nothing against John Browett as a person, but I do have extensive and invariably bad experience of his former company, DSG International, aka Dixons, PC World and Currys. When he was appointed it crossed my mind that Apple could be in danger of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but I am surprised at how soon we are discussing the surrender.

It isn’t all bad news for Browett, though. An “actual employee”, responding to the ifoAppleStore article says:

I got to meet Browett during his early summer tour and he isn’t the asshat he’s painted to be in this article. Yes it sucks that some folks are losing their jobs but many of them aren’t earning their keep. The rest might see hours cut with things like 4 day weeks but with the recent pay raises it’s not really a huge loss in pay for most. What he’s saying about too many employees in some stores is true. But he also noticed things like how crowded my particular store is because of physical space and stopped a minor remodel ‘because why do it twice’. I think he’s trying to get Apple back into having the best employees and not just lots of them and that’s not a horrible thing.

Let’s hope Mr. Actual is right and that we are not witnessing the slow DSGisaton of Apple’s retail empire.

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