Apple Store Retail Employees and Their Pay Profiled by the NYT

The New York Times has an in-depth look at Apple Store retail employees and their wages compared to the profits they continue to reap for Apple. It was recently noted Apple had committed new wage increases for its retail employees.

By the standards of retailing, Apple offers above average pay — well above the minimum wage of $7.25 and better than the Gap, though slightly less than Lululemon, the yoga and athletic apparel chain, where sales staff earn about $12 an hour. The company also offers very good benefits for a retailer, including health care, 401(k) contributions and the chance to buy company stock, as well as Apple products, at a discount.

But Apple is not selling polo shirts or yoga pants. Divide revenue by total number of employees and you find that last year, each Apple store employee — that includes non-sales staff like technicians and people stocking shelves — brought in $473,000.

Are Apple employees being underpaid? It looks that way in the current climate as Apple has become the world’s largest company by market value, thanks to its record profits.

That puts Apple in the spotlight to be targeted for underpaying its workers. But what about other industries in retail that also make huge profits and also pay low retail wages? I mean, is the retail industry known to make people rich? What if the iPhone or the iPad had failed miserably? Would this still be an issue?

Big banks and wireless carriers have continued to reap monster profits–should their retail employees get massive raises too? The article is an interesting Saturday afternoon read, check it out here.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Anon

    That’s still poverty level wages. No way anyone can make a living off of that.

  • Big Ang

    I would agree with the article IF anyone goes to an Apple store and buys an Apple product because of the employees. Newsflash – people buy Apple products for numerous other reasons than some guy wearing a solid colour shirt with a white Apple logo on it. For the most part, Apple store employees are the human equivalent of a vending machine – someone walks in, says they want an iPod, they look at the colours, and the Apple store employee processes the order. Pretty simple. They are lucky to be getting paid 65% over minimum wage.

  • Ed Lau

    They aren’t underpaid. That’s the wage that the market determines. If they don’t work for somewhere between $7.25 and $12, then someone else will. Wages aren’t determined by how much a company makes and the employees at the store level aren’t exactly very important to Apple’s profits.

  • randyritraj

    By this logic, if a company was losing money then the employees should have negative pay. That’s not how the world works. That’s how a profit-sharing scheme, if one existed, could link some percentage of profits to compensation but by no means do companies pay solely based on their profits.