“A Mercedes per square foot. Probably the highest grossing retail store in history.” - Bloomberg, 2010
The unbelievably profitable Apple store is the closest any of you have come to getting inside the MCP from Tron. Or at least, what the MCP would look like if it was three stores down from Wetzels Pretzels and Mrs. Fields.
It's like Willy Wonka made a factory for grownups: Everything is shiny and sleek, helpful people magically appear out of thin air, and "Geniuses" solve even the most complicated glitches. Perhaps most amazingly, in a store in which computers and tablets run twice as much as those of the competitors, everything still feels like a bargain. Steve Jobs's vision is fully realized, a place of wonder in which customer worship at the temple of consumer capitalism.
But what happens behind-the-scenes at the Apple store? Does it pose the usual chaos of working in retail? Or is it the equivalent of retail utopia? What does an apple genius do? These tales from apple store employees - culled from Reddit - give a backstage look at Jobs's Store of Dreams.
Slight spoiler alert: Even when Apple employees share stories anonymously on Reddit, they still have overwhelmingly positive things to say about the house of Mac. (Writer's Note: A special thanks to non Reddit humans "Lanny P" and "Drake" for their own tales from the front lines).
The Fringe Benefits Are Moderate
A common thread of Apple store employees is they like working there. When discussing fringe benefits, however, it turns out they aren't quite given the keys to the kingdom... though the 40% Christmas discount sounds sweeettt.
"Best benefit - got a reimbursement for fitness-related expenses such as gym memerships! Discounts - vary on product, Apple products anywhere between 10-25% discount depending on the product. We had one 'personal' purchase a year per iPhone, Mac, iPad that had a higher discount and then the rest were considered 'Friends and Family' purchases, which attracted a lower discount.
Third party products were generally 10% off, however they did have special offers every now and then, especially around the holidays we had a thing called Wish List where every week leading up to Christmas different products would get steep discounts (usually around 40% off)."25732Did this surprise you?
Apple Supports Its Employees
"If Apple didn't sell a single product for 10 years, still had to maintain property leases, pay employees, keep producing product, and have to repair any phones. At the end of the ten years, Apple would still be a multi billion dollar corporation.
Point is, there is a lot of money in Apple. They are really supportive in terms of helping out with your education and its easy to move up."
Now let's see if any Walmart employees can say that.26034Did this surprise you?
It's The Harvard Of Retail (According to Them)
"Statistics show it is more difficult to get accepted into Apple than it is ANY university in the states. I am not saying this to make myself feel better about working with the biggest tech company in the world, but to show you that we are not idiots.'"
If Apple's the Harvard, then does that make Hot Topic the Florida State?19831Did this surprise you?
Employees Are In the Dark About New Products
Apple Store workers know no more than us regular citizens when it comes to new releases. From draggingalake:
"(When it comes to) new products... (we know) NOTHING. Apple doesn't care about their Retail employees. When a new iPhone is announced, we know the same time you guys do. All the Geniuses read MacRumors, TUAW, etc, we know what's coming and what's rumored, but we really don't know."
AppleThrowaway030917 backed up this claim:
"We find out when the rest of the world does, no one ever believes that but is the truth. Just like the rumor sites usually we get indications, like low stock levels, predictable cycles etc. but we don't get any information or training on new products until the keynote happens.
As for receiving products, most products we will have on launch day but very little quantity... After launch day its not unusual to not receive any stock for weeks after. Apple Store Pickup is definitely the best way to check stock levels, it is super accurate. Don't bother calling stores, our default answer is to just say no it's not in stock and we don't get any indication of when more will be coming in."23852Did this surprise you?