Apple lays off 1,600 workers but keeps stores afloat

Ten percent of the full-timers in Apple's newly mushroomed total of 250 stores got handed pink slips between January and April, according to Apple's latest 10-Q filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apple dubbed the laid off salespeople "full-time equivalents," reporting a headcount of 14,000 Apple store employees. That's slashed from the 15,600 number listed in its 10-K filing just last January.

Skating on stellar increases in iPhone sales, Apple turned in its "best non-holiday quarter" in history from January through March. Now, an examination of Apple's 10-Q filing by Betanews reveals that overall sales for Apple stores shot up, too -- albeit only to the tune of 2 percent, or $58 million -- between the first six months in Apple's respective 2008 and 2009 fiscal years.

But Apple also grew its number of stores to 250 from 203 the year before, meaning that average store revenue dropped from $15.5 million to $12.8 million between those two six-month time frames.

Meanwhile, though, Apple doesn't seem interested in shuttering many -- or possibly any -- of those stores, whether old or new.

"Expansion of the Retail segment has required and will continue to require a substantial investment in fixed assets and related infrastructure, operating lease commitments, personnel, and other operating expenses," according to Apple's 10-Q document.

Apple would "incur substantial costs if it were to close multiple retail stores and such costs could adversely affect the Company's financial condition and operating results," company officials conjectured.

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