Apple Store employees get raises; is the New York Times responsible?

Earlier this week, the employees who work at Apple Stores got some large raises. 9 to 5 Mac reports that some team members this week have gotten pay raises that are as much as 30 percent higher than their previous salaries. In addition, Apple has launched a new program where, on top of the normal Apple Store employee discount of 25 percent, they can also get a $500 discount for most Macs and a $250 discount for iPads.

That's all well and good, but were these moves more than just Apple being nice to their retail team members? These pay raises and new discounts were revealed just a few days before the New York Times posted an extensive article on Saturday that offers some new information on what is really going on at Apple's highly successful retail store operation, which began in 2001.

The story points out that the stores make more money per square foot, than any other US retail store, period. While Apple does offer above average pay in terms of other retail industries for its workers, they don't match what workers at AT&T and Verizon stores make.

That's because AT&T and Verizon offer sales commissions on top of their salaries. The article states Apple's belief that commissions would "foster employee competition, which would undermine camaraderie." The lack of commissions tends to make most Apple Store employees on the young side, in their 20s.

While Apple won't be offering commissions with these new pay raises, at least Apple is trying to keep their employees happy with raises and more hardware discounts.

Source: New York Times

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26 Comments

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It is a bit strange when Apple can convince their own employees to step outside of their best interest because of company loyalty.

It also isn't just Apple messing with employees, if you look at the December lawsuit from Apple call center employees classified as independent contractors, it not only cheats the employees, but is illegal as it allows Apple to skip state and federal employment taxes as well as contributing to unemployment insurance and workmans compensation insurance. (Basically it allows Apple to sponge off the state and federal government.)

So Apple cheating employees out of kickbacks, not surprising.

The grand Irony is part of their solution is by giving employees bigger discounts on Apple hardware. Wow, that takes some nerve, as it doesn't cost Apple as much and also helps promote their products because the employees will buy more products to demonstrate to their friends when they are not working. (Brilliant marketing, but not so ethical of a solution.)

Apple has a very close relationship with WSJ. I am sure they knew the artcle was coming. Look at the facts. Apple opened it first store in 2001. It is not 2012. In 12 years the pay scale likely only went up a very little and employees were only getting 20% discounts if that. Now all of a sudden they are getting a 30% raises and $500/$20 off hardware?

Its not blind coincedence.

TechieXP said,
Apple has a very close relationship with WSJ. I am sure they knew the artcle was coming. Look at the facts. Apple opened it first store in 2001. It is not 2012. In 12 years the pay scale likely only went up a very little and employees were only getting 20% discounts if that. Now all of a sudden they are getting a 30% raises and $500/$20 off hardware?

Its not blind coincedence.

Apple has a close relationship with most media organizations. Free products for 'unlimited' review periods is a nice 'perk' to keep you in good favor with journalists, or by giving swag to the non-media parent company that they give out to journalists and employees, not realizing that the product was a gift from Apple (To avoid any moral or journalist conflicts.)

Recently I've been trolling the Apple store by purchasing something at the Microsoft store and walking into the Apple store with my Microsoft store bag on display. I've also gone into the Apple store asking for directions to the Microsoft store (directly across from the Apple store). With all the trouble I put them through, they do deserve a raise.

Blar said,
You must lead a very sad and pointless life if you think doing that is a worthwhile use of your time.

No, it doesn't take any additional time because:

1) I was purchasing something from the Microsoft store anyway, so I wasn't wasting a trip (Apple store is directly across from the Microsoft store).
2) I always walk through the Apple store regardless to see what's new. If a store employee asks me if I need anything, I just ask them about Microsoft products so they don't try to sell me anything.

Enron said,
With all the trouble I put them through, they do deserve a raise.

You hardly cause trouble asking for directions and info on products they don't sell.

Most of the Apple Store employees are Apple fans and they, or some, might think "Hey, I work for Apple! I don't care how much I'm paid." but getting a little extra cash is always good, so this is good.

I haven't read the article yet, but apple does get around the whole no commissions thing by terminating employees who do not upsell enough AppleCare. They keep track of this and employees are warned and then terminated if they aren't able to up their game. Which is why Apple should have been paying higher wages to begin with because AppleCare, as with any extended warranty scheme, is nearly pure profit.

devxweb said,
How much do they typically earn?

The original article said $30,000 a year, which is PLENTY for a sales position and anyone saying it isn't is insane. As this article said, that salary is ABOVE average compared to other retail positions.

"These pay raises and new discounts were revealed just a few days before the New York Times posted an extensive article on Saturday"

So no then? -- I don't think Apple cares what is written about them in the New York Times, these policies weren't just thought up over the weekend you can bet a lot of meetings took place for Tim Cook to execute on these raises.

Apple has demonstrated in the past they do in fact care about what the media says about them. In this case however things have been set in motion before the article was released. So unless Apple got tipped off about the article in advance the answer to the question is "no".

.Neo said,
Apple has demonstrated in the past they do in fact care about what the media says about them. In this case however things have been set in motion before the article was released. So unless Apple got tipped off about the article in advance the answer to the question is "no".

Of course they knew that there was going to be an article about them in the paper. I've worked at a couple of companies in the past who have had articles written about them (some good, some bad) and they always knew before it was published what it would contain. They were then able to instigate changes or prepare their staff prior to it happening.
This will most certainly be the case here

Teebor said,

Of course they knew that there was going to be an article about them in the paper

I dunno where you've worked but I know from my experience that writing an acticle and printing it or posting it on the web is much quicker than putty a new policy in place!

Vice said,
"These pay raises and new discounts were revealed just a few days before the New York Times posted an extensive article on Saturday"

So no then? -- I don't think Apple cares what is written about them in the New York Times, these policies weren't just thought up over the weekend you can bet a lot of meetings took place for Tim Cook to execute on these raises.

before the article, but not before the press investigation, so it can be presumed that Apple knew about the content of the future article

Morden said,

before the article, but not before the press investigation, so it can be presumed that Apple knew about the content of the future article

Indeed, they may not have known the exact content (Though in some cases they do(Generally not apple specific)), but they definitely knew about the article and what it was about.

Vice said,
"These pay raises and new discounts were revealed just a few days before the New York Times posted an extensive article on Saturday"

So no then? -- I don't think Apple cares what is written about them in the New York Times, these policies weren't just thought up over the weekend you can bet a lot of meetings took place for Tim Cook to execute on these raises.

Maybe, I dunno, you could read the source article...let me quote it for you, so you can bring Apple down from that pedestal. They are a corporation, get over it, they are not anything else, nor is Google or Microsoft. The sooner people start realizing this, the soon the nonsense about how these companies act can be stopped.

"Last week, four months after The New York Times first began inquiring about the wages of its store employees..."

Seems to me that four months is plenty of time to work it out. It is absolutely mind boggling that you don't think Apple cares how the media reports on them.