Emerging Technology

Apple Store sales practices revealed: Steve Jobs wanted to restrain the profit motive

Andrew Sadauskas /

Apple founder Steve Jobs decided to not pay Apple Store staff commissions and chose to use the word “specialist” over “salesperson” in order to reduce the profit motive among staff, the New York Times has revealed.

According to the article, 30,000 of Apple’s 43,000 US employees work in an Apple store, with many earning $US11.25 an hour or about $US25,000 a year with healthcare benefits and 401(k) contributions — well above the minimum wage of $US7.25 an hour.

Apple’s 327 stores worldwide generate higher revenues per square foot than any other US retail chain, more than double the amount of second placed high-end retailer Tiffany’s, with the company bringing in an average of $US473,000 per Apple Store staff member.

Rather than paying staff commissions, the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker depends on strong brand loyalty combined with a modest wage in order to retain staff.

However, internal figures reveal that growing traffic combined with the lack of sales commissions may be hurting the company’s staff retention rates.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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