Early Employee Raises Are Tiny Part of Store Revenues

May 28, 2012

Apple will generously provide annual raises for its retail store employees three months early, but the company won’t have trouble paying for the hikes—it can be generated by the revenues from just 14 hours and 15 minutes of the retail stores’ operation. The easy pay-off demonstrates the huge earnings of the retail chain, and the relatively small slice of revenues that comprises employee pay, estimated to be $1.7 billion annually. The pay raises, from one percent to five percent depending upon store performance, will be paid on June 30th, three months before the usual September payout date, according to 9to5Mac.com. Based on an average $20 per hour wage (see comments), the early raise could be worth $520 for an employee receiving a five percent hike. According to conservative calculations, in order to pay a five percent raise to all 42,200 full-time equivalent retail store employees, Apple would pay out about $21,944,000. That amount could be generated by just one day of store revenues. Alternatively, the pay hike could be paid from profits over two days, 14 hours and 34 minutes. If the average pay raise were just three percent, it could be paid within just eight hours and 34 minutes of revenues. Employee benefits and compensation have been among several issues raised by an ever-vocal group of Apple store employees. Just over a year ago, the Apple Retail Workers Union was formed by a San Francisco store employee to increase discussion of workplace issues at the company’s stores. Beyond payroll, Apple spent $612 million on capital asset purchases for its retail operation during fiscal 2011. The company does not break out other annual expenses for its chain, other than to say total lease commitments now total about $2.8 billion.

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Anzu May 28, 2012 at 2337

Average $20 wage? where is that number from?

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Wes May 29, 2012 at 0931

Gee how generous of Apple.

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AnonymousRetail May 29, 2012 at 1510

3-5% of nothing is still nothing. While it is generous they are providing these raises early the base pay and current rate of employees means that most will see only 30 cents on average for their only raise this year.

For employees that can generate over 1 million dollars in sales each year its a far cry from “generous”. Sales staff and mobile techs make the same and receive no raises going from sales to mobile tech yet the stress and demand is much higher.

20$ per hour average is way too high an estimation. In my store not a single member (specialist, Expert, Family Room Specialist, Back of House Specialist, Inventory Control Specialist, Creative, or Genius) of the team makes that much per hour. Ranges are generally:

Specialist: 8-10 $/hr starting

Expert: 12-15 $/hr starting

Family Room Specialist: 9-11 $/hr starting

Creative: 12-13 $/hr starting

Genius Admin: 12-13 $/hr starting

Genius: 13-15 $/hr starting

Family Room Specialists run trainings, mobile repair queues, data transfers, and basic mac repairs in back but receive significantly less than Genius and Creative employees. Specialists run the red zone while experts run sales only but receive way less in pay. The company should be a leader for employee compensation but they are your average brick and mortar chain behind the scenes. Don’t be fooled by this “generous” early raise offer. Next years raises are set to be at their traditional later time.

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Gary May 29, 2012 at 1627

Thanks everyone for the feedback here, in email and in-person about the average wage figure of $20. I think I was figuring the pay raise would include retail employees beyond the stores whose larger salary would raise the average. However, the point of the story—a 5% pay hike is a miniscule portion of Apple’s retail revenues or profits—still applies if the average wage were lower. In fact, using a $14 average hourly wage, the pay raise could be covered by 9 hours and 32 minutes of revenue (less than one store day), or by profits generated by 1 day, 23 hours and 24 minutes.

No company contributes its entire profits to the employees through wages. However, every company has to consider how to distribute its profitability to the major stakeholders: customers (through product prices and other benefits), employees (through wages and benefits) and stockholders (through dividends, stock buy-backs, etc.). In the case of very successful Apple, the question of profitability distribution is even more pertinent.

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Secret About Box May 29, 2012 at 1655

Think bigger. Bigger challenges. Bigger outcomes. Bigger solutions. I think everyone who is commenting is thinking too small. Think about it.

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AnonymousRetail May 29, 2012 at 1708

It is hard to consider thinking bigger when management can afford a glorious new home yet you cannot afford to buy a starter home on a single income. It is hard to consider the bigger picture when your company holds conferences to determine what to do with its enormous amounts of cash but cannot pay you a competitive wage.

The employees of Apple Retail want to stay with the company while also making it desirable to stay. I don’t believe a better pay scale is too much to ask.

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Cory Moll May 30, 2012 at 2306

… or their new Audi.

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AnonymousRetail June 1, 2012 at 0152

Agreed. If you could only up vote comments here.

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Gen X. June 2, 2012 at 1039

So what if they buy a new Audi? What’s your point? Are you so much of a socialist that you don’t think people should be able to buy what they want to, when they want to, with money that they’ve earned?

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Ben June 3, 2012 at 2257

I was thinking along the same lines; customers of Apple need to start speaking out on behalf of the employees. I take this very seriously, it has major impact on the customer experience for one. And to have employees who can’s afford it’s own products… I’m in PDX. Please email me: cow007at gmaildot com. I was in the store today and the level of goodwill I experienced when I expressed my concern about pay was overwhelming. Let’s do something…

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Cory Moll June 3, 2012 at 2305

Your support is appreciated, Ben! :)

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Cory Moll May 29, 2012 at 1722

Most specialists here in San Francisco start at $14/hr. (I make $14.49) After rent and bills, I figure most end up with around $250-500 left over per month for food (a good chunk of change here!) and miscellaneous things. 1-5% is nothing special considering this is generally what is offered anyway. Now, if it were this plus, say a $1000 cash bonus, or RSUs or something else then it may be significant.

The only thing significant to anyone in Apple Retail is the bonus performance structure for managers. I don’t know what that structure is, but it’s why managers are always coming down on US to “drive for results;” to drive their paycheck.

We are the face of Apple. For as much as they tell us in Market Core that it’s “not about the numbers,” they sure like to use that against us because it means their bonus isn’t as big. .

(To those that wonder why I stay at Apple instead of look for something else, it’s because there’s a huge sense of pride to have this job and having enriching moments with our customers every day. I think only K-12 teachers have a more awesome job than we do.)

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Gen X. June 2, 2012 at 1042

Interesting that you keep bringing up what managers make, and that you reference a bonus structure of which you admitted you have no direct knowledge. Why are you so focused on this? Is it that you’ve been passed over for promotion in the past, and your anger and frustration over that has manifested into your screed against Apple Retail leadership?

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Ben June 3, 2012 at 2301

Don’t be a prik, these people aren’t paid what they are worth. Take care of the small things and the big things won’t be a problem. It’s no small thing to stay on top.

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What The... May 30, 2012 at 1331

$20/hr in retail?
How does this compare to other retailers out there?

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Apple Manager May 31, 2012 at 1651

It’s naive to state that managers push for numbers solely because of their bonus. In every retail environment I have worked, including Apple, the push for performance comes from the very top. Stores are fiscally budgeted for certain goals and those goals are usually incredibly high. Managers, and their subordinate management staff, that fail to hit those numbers will not last long at a company. Management annual reviews in retail are a lot more brutal than the reviews for support staff at Apple. Managers are not only responsible for their individual performance but they are also responsible for the performance of everyone on their team. It is extremely stressful to continually try to motivate and engage employees; not all employees are self-directed or self-sufficient. Managers face the same pressure as the floor sales person – do your job to meet the standards or you are out. This is true of all retail and Apple is no exception. You have to be evaluated in a job somehow, and quantitative measures eliminate issues with a manager’s potential subjectivity. To think that Apple managers push their staff just so they can make bonus is not true – they do it so they can also keep their jobs! They are measured on the same numbers as everyone else. And the managers I knew at Apple were, for the most part, really caring people. It’s retail. No one makes you work in retail. And no other retailer is providing the benefits, increases, and discounts that Apple does.

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Gen X June 1, 2012 at 1000

AMEN.

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HaTe MaNaGeRs June 4, 2012 at 0013

All managers at apple suck and are part for the problem. You follow a lie, you are part of a lie and eat and drink the cool aid which is a lie. Apple sucks the life out of its staff and no amount of money is worth that. Saying its retail we can all see your unskilled in your assessment, its like saying its murder? Just because its expected doesn’t make it right. Just because others are treating others in a poor way doesn’t make it right.

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Anonymous Apple Retail June 19, 2012 at 1848

@HaTe MaNaGeRs
What you are saying is an absolute crock of BS! I worked at an Apple Store nearly 10 years (no I am not a manager) and I can tell you for a fact that there is a lot more to people working at Apple Retail than just the money. At Apple, there is really something to be said about the journey. You want to learn a bit about having the life sucked out of you? Go work in Retail on commission. I did. And THAT sucked the life out of me. Yeah its retail but I’ll take Apple’s version of retail any day you myopic moron. I have the best medical insurance around. I have stock. I have a 401k. I have a home. I love my job.

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Specialist Me June 1, 2012 at 0942

When I started, the pay was 10$ an hour and I was glad to get it! The job market where I live sucks! Mind you, most of the Specialists I work with are working on or have bachelors degrees. I took the job because I love Apple, and I needed something part-time while finishing a post-graduate degree. But the job is so much more than that. Even though new hires come on at 11$an hour nowadays, I am still uber thankful for my job at Apple. Shortly after starting at Apple, they began awesome programs like health/vision/dental insurance, even for part-timers! Good luck finding any other part-time retail job that offers that. And no one is stuck in their position either. I’m working towards other positions and other than teaching, no other job I’ve had has ever given me such joy and satisfaction in what I do. I’ve never worked with such cool people, both management and coworkers, nor have I ever worked in a culture that trusts our judgement and encourages us to do right by each other and our customers. Apple for life!

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Right On.. June 1, 2012 at 1401

First, the top non-managerial wage at our store is a bit over $16 per hour, Geniuses and Creatives and few make that. So that $20 figure is wishful thinking on someone’s part. I received a decent raise last year, but since our management is so paranoid about overtime, they’ve decreed that ‘full time’ is 37-38 hours per week. Yes, the most profitable company in the USA is systematically stealing around $100 from me in every two week paycheck, effectively rescinding last year’s raise. Excuse me if I’m not too excited about this go-’round.

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Apple Manager June 1, 2012 at 1631

While I appreciate your feelings about not getting overtime pay, the reality is that all stores have a finite payroll budget. For every hour of overtime paid, other hours have to be cut in a 1.5 ratio. So every hour you make in overtime, one of your co-workers gets scheduled for 1.5 fewer hours and it cuts into their pay. That management “paranoia” is all about being fair to everyone and making sure they get their minimum scheduled hours. It’s not an endless pot of payroll; it has to be balanced against an allocation.

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Right On.. June 1, 2012 at 2217

Apple Retail gives lip service to California labor laws, in terms of mandatory 15-minute breaks for every 4 hours worked, and 30 or 60 minute lunch periods. But only when it’s convenient: CA Labor Law Section 515 C states, “‘full-time employment’ means employment in which an employee is employed for 40 hours per week.” At this location, ‘full time’ has been redefined to 37-38 hours per week, and that means I’m being shorted about $100 every two weeks. Call it what you want, it’s money I should be taking home and am not.. since it’s involuntary, from here it looks a lot like stealing.

Speaking of ‘allocation’ – traffic in our store has doubled each year for the past 4 years. That is an 800% increase in customers. The employee count is up 10% over prior years at most. Yet management refuses to hire, in fact are cutting hours for part timers to the bone, because they claim that the location is considered ‘overstaffed’. Many part timers’ schedules are being shrunk to where they no longer qualify for benefits. Yet we consistently have the highest conversion rate in the region.

I haven’t even begun to describe the requirement for ‘full time availability’.. Apple can require me to work ANY of the 85 hours per week the store is open. That’s 50% of my LIFE. Plans with family are impossible, the moronic Cronos scheduler can’t keep straight what various people can actually accomplish on the floor, so you have highly qualified Creatives stuck on ‘point’ or fixing iPhones while newbie Family Room Specialists are scheduled, and struggling, to cover Personal Training sessions. Management shrugs. Computers are being serviced by new members of the Genius team who have never been to Cupertino or passed any certification exams whatsoever. Often Apple customers are not being served by the most qualified employee.

The tactics described above might be considered necessary for a company on the brink, unprofitable, fighting for its survival. My store is the only one in the region exploiting its employees to this degree. The unconscionable thing is that Apple as a whole, and this retail location, are massively, unbelievably profitable.

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Anonymous June 3, 2012 at 1951

It seems like you have bad management at your store. At mine, they are fine with availability being moved around and only working hours you want to. They also manually manage the schedule here because, yes, Kronos is stupid. They will go through and make sure that it’s fair, and that the creatives get scheduled first (by opening their availability up weeks in advance, and FRS availability just a few days in advance.) They also send all Geniuses to Cupertino before they take appointments here, so that they know they’re ready to go. (Unless its like a power adapter swap that an FRS feels comfortable handling.) We also get our 15 minute breaks, even if it’s insane out there, they’ll say “Can you sell one more then go on break, or do you need a break now?” Then they have you go immediately after, or they let you go if you need to. I think it’s time to put in some NPP for your store, and get some things changed, because something isn’t right there.

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Thoughts... June 27, 2012 at 2346

Sometimes stores just have bad management. I had a co-worker move to the San Fransisco Bay Area and interview at a few stores there. Some of the managers were downright rude, literally, on the phone during the interview, late for the interview and unapologetic, etc, while at other stores, they where all the great things you’d expect just coming out of core. The problem here is a problem everywhere, constancy. I’d guess your problem is probably terrible management.

Of course, another issue contributing to this is that Apple likes to hire retail managers to managerial positions, while relegating more experienced people that don’t have a retail background to non-manager positions, then forcing them to work their way up. Retail management is typically the least qualified set of managers, so there’s a lot of untapped talent sitting on in the Red Zone getting hassled for “only” 50% applecare while some guy who could barely manage three people at shoe department in Target leads the floor.

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Right On.. June 1, 2012 at 2224

“While I appreciate your feelings about not getting overtime pay..” I’m not complaining about not earning overtime. There IS none. I’m saying is that my shifts are artificially shortened so that I can’t even earn *40 hours’* pay. I lose 4-6 hours’ pay each two week pay period.. as I said, I was given a raise last year, and now the company has effectively rescinded it by sending me home early.

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Bob June 2, 2012 at 0011

$8-10 an hour for specialist? At my store specialist start at $12-14, experts: $18-25, geniuses and creative $18-32. I think that hourly rate is based on your store or locations revenue band.

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Right On.. June 2, 2012 at 2149

There is no actual job title called ‘Expert’.. it’s a team formed from Mac Specialists to give them the illusion of upward job mobility in an environment where there’s little or none. My impression is they don’t make much more than regular Mac Specialists, certainly not the deltas you’re describing. Same thing for the ‘mentor’ team.. an illusory position.

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Gen X. June 3, 2012 at 0009

Totally incorrect. Expert is in fact a job title that is listed in Merlin and is not just an “illusory” position. Get your facts straight.

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Right On.. June 3, 2012 at 0733

I stand corrected. Expert is short for ‘Mac Specialist’ with a little bit of experience’.

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err... June 3, 2012 at 0753

Expert is definitely a position. Mentor is a role.

By the way, California considers 40 hours per week as full time employment, but only as a means to determine when “overtime pay” should begin. See California Labor Code Section 515 (c): “For the purposes of this section, “full-time employment” means employment in which an employee is employed for 40 hours per week.”

http://law.onecle.com/california/labor/515.html

I’d like to point out that Apple is providing two separate raises to its employees this year (both earlier than the norm, presumably at the same time). I can’t confirm this, other than what was told to me as I was working on other things, and couldn’t really afford to give my full attention. I’m under the impression we will get a standard, performance-based increase (using the same 1-5 scale as normal, which I believe maxes out at 5%), and then we will receive another raise based on seniority and a few other determining factors.

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err... June 3, 2012 at 0758

I didn’t mention it, but Section 515 is entirely about overtime. So “For the purposes of this section” means “For the purposes of this section about overtime”. Sorry for any ambiguity.

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Don June 3, 2012 at 1936

@err…: All my managers and Market Leader have been very explicit that this is just the normal Merit increase (the annual review raise) moved to June instead of September, and that next year’s review will be held at the normal time. Now, if that’s not the case, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been lied to as a Retail employee, but under direct questioning, that’s the direct answer I’ve gotten. If you have any info about a “seniority” raise, I’d love to hear about that. I haven’t gotten a raise over 2.5% in 8 years, but have always been told “I wish we could clone you.” (maybe because I work for peanuts)

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err... June 16, 2012 at 1921

Equity + Merit bonuses went out recently to the tune of 25% (combined) for some employees.

Benin PDX June 17, 2012 at 0219

Forgiving my repeated ideological metaphors; we aren’t talking about wealth redistribution or something. Is it some sort of communistic framework that makes us operate on the basis that the employees of a company should share in the wealth of that company? Well, no but its almost as if that’s how some people think this comes off? I wouldn’t mind having a nice stock option package for these folks. That’s one direct application of what I am reflecting here; after all blue chip stocks are certainly nice to have stacking up in your portfolio.

Bobtodd June 2, 2012 at 0820

No creative or genius at apple make $32. I was told Friday that no member of te team can go into over time for the next 3 weeks. So guess where apple is going to be paying us our merit raise from?? Yep by saving overtime pay..

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An Observer June 2, 2012 at 1212

Let’s face it, for the most part if you work in retail you aren’t going to make it rich. It’s a job, a vocation, a season of your life, a college job, a second job, have I covered everything here. There is no other retailer in a mall that is going to pay what Apple pays. A lot of those stores in the mall didn’t give their employees a raise for two to three years and their executives continued to get their bonuses and stock. There was a a comedian named Sam Kinison that did a routine about people starving in the desert. To paraphrase, if you can’t make it in retail then go some where else and quit whining.

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Right On.. June 2, 2012 at 2147

Dear Observer -

‘Retail’ needn’t be a code word for treating employees poorly. I don’t call $16/hour after 5 full time years excessive pay, not for the level of knowledge and professionalism Apple requires.. this isn’t selling shoes. This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, just ‘another retailer in the mall’. And I don’t call requiring 85 hour availability – EVERY WEEK – humane treatment.

This isn’t some retailer barely surviving on a tiny margin, Apple is one of the most profitable companies in history.

p.s. “Bob” above, with his “$18-32″ per hour for geniuses and creatives, is smack in the middle of fantasyland.

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Thoughts... June 27, 2012 at 2353

So… Apple retail is just retail then? The people there aren’t (for the most part) vastly more qualified than the teenager at PacSun and, through their effort and creativity, a large part responsible for Apple’s admired image and tremendous profits? Ok.

IMHO, pay should be determined by the value you create for your employer, not the label someone else gives your job.

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Juicy Tidbit June 2, 2012 at 2233

The most difficult part of Apple Retail is working with store management that is poorly trained and has received no professional development since they left the Gap, Best Buy or Build a Bear.

As a stock holder for 15 years, a customer for 28 years and an employee for 3, I’m hoping Apple will invest more in developing their people because when the economy improves they will have difficulty attracting and retaining talent.

The $20 number is definitely high. Our store median is $13.

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Gen X. June 3, 2012 at 0006

Where are you getting the data that leads you to state that the median for “your” store is $13?

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err... June 3, 2012 at 0807

Most of the United States stores are located in California, New York City, or other high-cost-of-living areas. I know plenty of non-managers in Expert, Genius, Creative (and lead) positions who make 20+ per hour. Specialists can start at 14 an hour with a decent background.

I get the impression that a lot of people that are shocked about the $20 dollar number are from lower population, lower cost of living areas. Being the highest revenue in the Pittsburgh PA or Portland OR market doesn’t mean you should be paid higher. You see a fraction of the traffic that NYC and Orange County/LA/San Francisco stores see. Even if you’ve risen 800% in 4 years, so have they, and they are already seeing 1000% more foot traffic than you.. There are two stores within a mile of each other in LA!

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Thoughts... June 28, 2012 at 0010

“The most difficult part of Apple Retail is working with store management that is poorly trained and has received no professional development since they left the Gap, Best Buy or Build a Bear.”

Amen to that. Were you a laid off mid level manager with 50 people under you from a medium sized company that isn’t retail? Were you a well qualified teacher looking for a part time job? Were you a professional skater who got injured after 10 years of advertising, media, and TV experience? Were you the owner of a small construction business that handled multi-million dollar projects that hit hard times in this economy? Were you successful artist with your own gallery who was looking to try something else? Were you successful professional working in your field for a few years with a bachelor’s degree, but looking for a part time job while going back to school for your graduate? You’ll get hired as a specialist and be forced through two years of nonsensical neg. feedback from kids (managers) with a tenth of your experience just to get to full time (never mind an management position). Be a 22 year old “manager” from gamestop who “manages” three 18 year olds? Get hired straight in as an assistant manager and have no motivation develop. It’s a bit odd.

Don’t get me wrong, many of the managers at Apple are bright, competent, and qualified. However, an unsettling number also are not, because of the over-hiring of other company’s ex-retail managers into manager positions. Where you a manager at Target? Great, you can start as a part-time specialist and work back to management like everyone else. That would make a lot more sense.

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An Observer June 3, 2012 at 1512

People selling shoes and high end clothing can make a lot more that $16 an hour and 85 hours a week for a full time employee in retail is normal not extreme. There are retailers that have employees that have worked for them for 25 years that don’t make $16 an hour, but they love their jobs. Loving your job is what it is really all about anyway.

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Right On.. June 4, 2012 at 2135

That’s lovely to hear, that supporting cutting edge technology can pay less than selling clothes or shoes. And it’s sweet that they ‘love their jobs. Tell us, Observer, what exposure to Apple you actually HAVE. Other than walking into a store occasionally. They look good, don’t they?

BTW $16/hour is below the poverty line for a family of 3 in my state. Being available to any company, especially one with a clueless and spasmodic automated scheduling system, for 50% of the hours in my life, making it impossible to have any set schedule for your personal life, really, truly sucks. And it’s completely unnecessary.

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AppleAnon July 7, 2012 at 1104

Err…85 hours a week is an almost 11 hour day…your math is wrong

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Right On July 7, 2012 at 2250

Dear AppleAnon – on a weekday, the first 1to1 begins at 7AM. The store is open until 8PM. That’s 13 hours. Am I going too fast for you? On the weekend the hours are modified slightly, store closes at 6PM on Sunday. It does indeed add up to 85 fucking hours on call every fucking week. That’s 50% of my LIFE these people demand. I can’t wait to get out of there.

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Apple2Apple June 3, 2012 at 1610

Raises for MGR+ include bonuses. Rates for Red Zone and Family Room range from 1-6% depending on a few different factors, including how good you are at your job. One thing is true for everybody, success in sales on the floor, whether good or bad, affects the pay of everyone. Essentially, if I as a Genius am a “significant contributor” in my position, if the RZ doesn’t do well in a fiscal year, I’m up sh*ts creek with a “Solid Contributor” rating; which lends me to an average of 3-4% raise. This is true in all retail, not just Apple.

Hourly rates for those in the RZ and Family Room depend on the area where your store is based. At the top of the chain, namely flagships, rates for Specialist/Experts range from $12-15, Creatives $18-28, Genius’ $21-32. I know of a few people who have been with the company for 5+ years where those rates are higher. It’s funny to me that most store management make the same as Genius’ (again, there are a few exceptions), but still have the potential to get a bonuses at the end of the fiscal cycle. There was a time when the company was really taking off that everyone got bonuses on top of raises at the end of the year (Q1-4). Sadly, that doesn’t happen anymore. iPhones anybody?! It’s important to note that Store Leaders make more, but are the only ones paid salaried and not hourly.

Apple has out grown itself when it comes to retail. The stores were only ever imagined to be the size of most Gap stores, but now need to be the size of giant Best Buys in many cases to accomodate customers demand. There needs to be better training for Specialist+, but it’s hard to have adequate training when the employee retention rate for Specialist is so low. That’s why, in my opinion (take it with a grain of salt), Apple retail continues to hire at lower rates– you can hire more people. You can always take something bigger and make it smaller, but it’s much harder to do the opposite.

That’s retail. Take it or leave it.

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Ben June 4, 2012 at 1451

I am starting an activism project called Apple Customers for Fair Labor Practices- ACFLP; The stated goal of this project is to keep Apple strong and improve the customer experience by supporting it’s employees. These are hardworking people and they aren’t paid what they are worth. Apple corporate is trying to squeeze every dime of profit out of the company at the cost of quality, fairness and a good customer experience. The numbers are more than fine already and this behavior can and will put a company on the wrong track and lead to it’s undoing. This company is not supposed to be a numbers game. The objective is to produce excellent product and provide excellent services and customer support. This in turn will translate to success. This money wringing is not only unnecessary but foolish and shortsighted. Apple is beginning to be perceived by the public as just another corporate entity. Workers at the Apple store are working at a store that just happens to be the Apple store instead of working for Apple in a job that happens to be in retail, and it shows. I care very much about Apple! The employees ARE the company and what benefits them benefits customers. I have made a life choice to stick up for those who cannot stick up for themselves and as Apple customers we are in a unique position to change things without jeopardizing our livelihood. “Think bigger. Bigger challenges. Bigger outcomes. Bigger solutions.” The time to act is now, and the reserve of goodwill from Apple employees is incalculable.

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Gen X June 4, 2012 at 1457

Ben: how do we get aboard what you’re trying to do?

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Ben June 4, 2012 at 1759

Subscribe to the rss feed on the blog. And feel free to contact me directly via email cow007atgmail.com

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Ben June 4, 2012 at 1812

However given your previous posts I would have concerns about your objectives and goals. You seem to be playing devil’s advocate…

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Gen X. June 4, 2012 at 1816

Well, someone has to play that role sometimes, wouldn’t you say? Maybe there’s a chance that I have far more direct, inside and firsthand information about what’s going on in the stores that probably the vast majority of those who issue comment on IFO.

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Ben June 4, 2012 at 1821

Ok, please contact me. I would like to interview/ debate you off the record. It’s good to know what one is talking about…

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Ben June 4, 2012 at 1822

(contact info is provided here and on the contact section of the website)

JustSayin June 6, 2012 at 1528

“that’s retail. take it or leave it.”

PLEASE. all apple does is say how they aren’t a normal retailer. not only do they make money hand over fist, but they demand so much more of their employees than a normal retailer. if you think for a second that employees at old navy are asked to do nearly what an apple retail employee is asked to you, then you have no clue how an apple store works.

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An Observer June 6, 2012 at 2050

RIGHT ON, you are wrong. When I speak of high end I am talking Ralph Lauren or Chanel as I have friends that work at both of those retailers and they work their a** to make what they do, harder than Apple employees. If their customers don’t come back they lose their jobs. BTW all retail jobs put you at or below the poverty level for a family of three ( if you are not selling to rich people), that is why most people who work in retail have more than one job. I could never sit at a desk, way too boring. I love the excitement of retail and everyday being different. Whether you are buying the merchandize (done it), selling it (done it), making it visually exciting(done it) it is a fun job for those that enjoy it. Life just isn’t all about how much money you make and if they/you don’t like it “get out of the desert!” JUST SAYIN, apparently you haven’t worked at Old Navy because I have and it is a grueling job that no one, even the customers appreciate. Folding jeans and t shirts all day long to have them destroyed before you can walk away and the customers don’t care. Not only that,but you have to put the store back together every night before you can leave and the employees make barely above minimum wage.. I have worked in retail my whole career and I know what I am talking about. I mostly think there is a lot of wealth envy here.

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Right On.. June 7, 2012 at 0010

Apparently, Observer, ‘just sayin’, your experience with high technology and Apple is zero, and you think that people selling handbags to rich people work harder than we do. Right. That makes your contribution to this conversation all the more poignant. I mean, accurately describing and speccing out a local and wide area network to a business customer, folding in the appropriate Apple product – servers, desktops, and mobile devices, and recommending appropriate third-party content in a guaranteed-to-work project definition doesn’t hold a candle to ‘folding jeans and t shirts all day long’. That does sound brutal.

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Right On.. June 7, 2012 at 0849

“..BTW all retail jobs put you at or below the poverty level for a family of three ( if you are not selling to rich people), that is why most people who work in retail have more than one job.”

Well, Observer, at the store where I work, their demand for ‘full-time availability’ precludes ANY kind of other or outside employment, because ‘full-time availability’ means they can drag me in ANY of 85 hours the store is open, every single week. You don’t get it, do you? Apple is paying apparently low, to you, hourly wages, yet demanding a huge commitment from its employees.

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Apple Manager June 7, 2012 at 1030

You need to work with HR about your specific store, then. The Apple stores where I have worked all allow employees to designate a preferred schedule (if full time) as long as it includes fri/sat/sun which are the busiest days. A weekend can be requested off if advance notice is given. Sounds like your store lacks flexibility but don’t paint all of Apple with that brush; that’s not the case elsewhere.

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Right On June 7, 2012 at 1451

“as long as it includes fri/sat/sun which are the busiest days.” Busiest days FOR WHAT? I’m a trainer, a Creative, and customers who trusted us to give them quality training for their money KNOW to AVOID Friday Saturday and Sunday precisely because those are the busiest days. If this store’s management had a clue, they’d load the earlier part of the week with training time and thin it out considerably – releasing personnel for more important tasks, such as selling and serving the never-ending Mobile Queue. Your faith in HR is touching. I think, since I work in a right-to-be-fired-for-any-or-no-reason state, it’s a direct route to ejection from the company. Tell me I’m wrong.

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Right On June 7, 2012 at 1454

.. meant to say, “thin it (training) out considerably OVER THE WEEKEND”, i.e. give the Creatives back their weekends.. this store’s floor traffic crisis is one of sales and warranty service, not customer Personal Training.

Ben June 7, 2012 at 1352

This is being overanalized. From my standpoint there isn’t much room for debate here. This is an overall issue not just pertaining to employee wages… What we are talking about here plain and simple is corporate greed. Many of you are through the looking glass; Apple can’t be looked at like any other company. Never has been and hopefully never will be. Plain and simple; Apple has cult status there is no reasonable reason for the management in general to be trying so hard to squeeze every red cent super-roboticly possible from the company. It’s image, service and products is, are and will be effected. I am looking it this from the standpoint of a customer; if they keep it up then it will drive what Apple is and supposed to be right into the ground just like any other company taking brand loyalty, customer service, employee morale, quality and innovation along for the ride. It is something that has happened over and over and over and over and over again. There is no need to overcomplicate this: corporate greed can will and is turning Apple into shit. What a waste!

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Ben June 7, 2012 at 1358

We are Apples, not white supremacists who compromise our core values in order to fit into society or in this case every day run of the mill corporate culture. Apple isn’t a run of the mill company and if it becomes one I am going to shit a brick. “Don’t live with the results of someone else’s dogma” and many other Steve Jobs quotes that apply here. There is no need for the management to make this about money, that’s a situation that’s well under control already. “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

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Ben June 12, 2012 at 1658

By the way- as an independent computer technician I bill my time at 60.00 an hour. Even 20.00/hr is a far cry from that!

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Ben June 12, 2012 at 1658

By the way- as an independent computer technician I bill my time at 60.00 an hour. Even 20.00/hr is a far cry from that!

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Bobtodd June 18, 2012 at 1720

So yes merit raises did just go through and I can tell you most of the team I work with got between 19-29 % I think apple has realized and leveled most of the wage issues between staff to a more level playing field.

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MacSavant July 7, 2012 at 2211

@AppleAnon: they mean many stores are open 85 hours a week (180 for the 24 hour stores like 5th Ave), and most employees are expected to be available to work during any of those hours. Frankly, most stores are occupied by employees from 6Am to 1Am 6 days a week and 8am to 9 Pm on Sundays.

Btw, Apple forbids less then 8 hours between shifts, but if you don’t live inside the mall, you could be scheduled in a way you can’t get a full nights rest (or meals, or hygiene time) between work hours, and that’s somehow acceptable over 100 years after the industrial revolution/end of slavery. (sorry, that might be flame bait but it pisses me off to “clopen”, leaving at midnight, having a 40 minute one way commute, then be back at the store smiling at 8am)

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Current PT RZ Specialist December 4, 2013 at 0924

Wow you guys are a bunch of fucking whiners, if you don’t like working for apple, its an easy decision, JUST QUIT. There are thousands of people that will be waiting in line to take your job, if you want more money look for a more skilled job or go back to school. end of story.

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