Recent wage raises for Apple’s retail staff have been accompanied by the start of a long-awaited program offering an extra $250 off iPads and $500 off certain Mac models, as announced by Tim Cook in January. The prices have been diminished on top of the normal 25% discount for Apple employees.
Mac minis and Retina MacBook Pros are excluded from the list. While any discounts for the already low-priced Mac mini would make the machine essentially free, the company hasn’t explained the absence of the new MacBook Pros with Retina Display. Apple may possibly add them to the discount program at some point in the future when Retina MacBook Pro supply is not so constrained.
However, the program does pack some hitches. While workers can only employ the price break once every three years, they also need to have been with Apple past the 90-day probationary period. The pay increases announced by John Browett in May are larger than it was originally promised. Traditionally, the company has bumped wages by 2-5% for every year employed. However, the new retail head opted to offer salary raises earlier (they are typically implemented in September) and up wages by 25% based on individual merit and store performance.
In recent years, Apple’s retail personnel were dissatisfied with lower-than-expected salaries. Although the company has collected more revenue per square foot than any other retailer, most employees earn just a little more than a majority of speciality mall workers. Microsoft has quickly found a way to benefit from employee dissatisfaction by trying to steal Apple Store staffers with promises of signing bonuses, better wages and wider promotion opportunities, the latter of which is a real problem at most Apple’s retail locations.