"This Was A Mistake"

16 August 2012

Dow Jones Newswires:

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.”

The statement is Apple’s response to the staffing cuts at Apple Retail, highlighted by ifoAppleStore. Compare to the statement by Mansfield when Apple commented on the EPEAT mishap:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

One seems like a genuine apology. One feels very fake.

You don’t accidentally lay people off. This was clearly a departmental policy.

For a company that reported $8.8 billion dollars in profit last quarter, the goals of Browett should not be shaving pennies off the bottom line. The whole point of their retail stores is to be of assistance — cutting staff does not achieve that. The company is on the eve of iPhone 5 and iPad mini launches; it seems logical they should be hiring additional staff, not “learning to run leaner”.

Retail is a key instrument in introducing new customers to Apple. Yet, it feels like if, it hadn’t been for the public feet stamping, this policy would have continued. That scares me.