Amidst reports that Apple has been laying off retail employees at some retail stores around the globe, The Mac Observer’s checks with U.S. Apple Stores have indicated that U.S. retail jobs remain safe. Independent from any international layoffs, we were unable to find any U.S. stores that had laid off employees or cut store hours.
MacRumors reported earlier this week that anonymous sources claimed that recent hires in some Apple Stores have been laid off, in some cases shortly after they had completed their training. Those reports were attributed to Apple Store locations in the UK, but the site also said that some U.S. and Canadian sources had reported hour reductions for part-time staff.
Our checks with sources at several stores across multiple Apple retail markets within the U.S. found no such layoffs or hour reductions had occurred. In fact, one store reportedly just hired about dozen additional employees to help with the back to school season, and part-time employees in other stores were being given the opportunity to work more hours if they chose.
Apple’s retail operations are divided into many different markets in the U.S. and Canada. Leaders in those markets answer to Apple corporate guidelines on staffing hours and sales goals, but a great deal of autonomy exists in how to best meet those numbers. Each “Store Leader”—Apple’s term for “head manager”—has final say on hiring, firing, and hourly wages (within a set range).
Our checks were not exhaustive, but did touch multiple markets in the U.S. If layoffs or hour reductions are taking place, it’s not widespread.
In the absence of more information to the contrary, we therefore attribute the reported layoffs or working hour reductions in the United States to the individual needs of management in those stores and markets. We do not, at this time, see a broader trend domestically.
We should add that Europe’s economic woes are more pronounced than in the U.S., something that could be affecting staffing needs for Apple in those markets.