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.

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."

apple retail employees
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.

Top Rated Comments

FNi Avatar
130 months ago
John Browett's first cock-up. How many more before Apple finds out what everyone in the UK knew all along?
Score: 80 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3282868 Avatar
130 months ago
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.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macnerd93 Avatar
130 months ago
He won't rein long :D 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.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lone Deranger Avatar
130 months ago
Way to go John Browett! *slow clap* :rolleyes:
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macchiato2009 Avatar
130 months ago
great job Mr John Browett, great job...

this guy is a genius

Apple really needed a talent like him... :rolleyes:


thank God, Steve Jobs is no longer here to see that...
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miles01110 Avatar
130 months ago
Just like they "messed up" removing themselves from EPEAT? It'd be nice to see them use a different excuse once in a while.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
ios 16 battery indicator 2

Everything New in iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage in Status Bar, Find My Changes and More

Monday August 8, 2022 12:53 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, introducing some small but notable changes to the iOS operating system. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've rounded up everything new in the fifth beta below. Battery Percentage in Status Bar The battery icon in the status bar now displays the exact battery percent, a feature that ...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
airpods pro black background

Beyond iPhone 14: Five Apple Products Expected to Launch Later This Year

Monday August 8, 2022 9:43 am PDT by
While the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 are expected to be announced in September as usual, there are several more Apple products rumored to launch later this year, including new iPad and Mac models and more. Beyond the iPhone and Apple Watch, we've put together a list of five Apple products that are most likely to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Second-Generation AirPods Pro Apple...