Is Apple Retail TROUBLED?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail business has been in the news for the wrong reasons lately and now a new report says the company’s store employees are increasingly turning into a rather unhappy lot. The blog ifoAppleStore cites several internal sources to assert that the workers are unhappy that the company’s stores are changing “employee performance standards” to focus more on sales and profits over customer satisfaction.

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Earlier this month, Apple’s retail head John Browett had reportedly told employees in an internal memo that the company “messed up” in trying out a new management system that resulted in cutting logged hours for some employees and left some stores understaffed. Browett reiterated in his note that Apple was not planning to lay off any retail workers, and was instead focused on hiring new ones.

Employees told ifoAppleStore that some workers had, in fact, been mistakenly laid off and then rehired, but the latest concern was that new criteria had been put in place to measure the job performance of current employees. While on one hand more stress is being put on how many accessories could be added on to the sale of a core product, on the other, customers are being asked to buy the add-ons through the EasyPay system. Those sales are credited to the store and not to the employee, and brings individual ratings down.

In addition, overtime hours have been limited, demotions have not been reversed, and part-time workers are only receiving the minimum number of contracted hours. Employee morale is also low “due to the lack of information” about cuts and staffing changes.

Browett took over earlier this year from outgoing retail vice president Ron Johnson.

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