Inside The Apple Store: The Rules That Govern The Retail Chain

Inside The Apple Store: Apple's Secret Rules

When you enter an Apple Store, you probably don't realize just how meticulously engineered your entire experience is, from walk-in, to check-out.

A new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals just how much planning goes into shaping your time in the store, from what employees are and aren't allowed to say, to the kind of cable used to keep the laptops locked to the tables.

Some of the more surprising details:

-- Apple's sales per square foot are now $4,406 -- higher than luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany's and Co.

-- More people visit Apple Stores in a quarter than visit the four biggest Disney theme parks.

-- In-store technicians are asked to deal with emotional customers by using "simple reassurances" that they are listening, like, "Uh-huh" and "I understand."

-- Employees at the Genius Bar are asked to say "as it turns out" instead of "unfortunately," for a more positive spin on their bad news.

-- Genius appointments are routinely triple booked, so that they are extremely busy much of the time.

-- Employees are forbidden from correcting customer mispronunciations, because it would make them feel "patronized."

-- Apple's retail philosophy is described by the acronym A.P.P.L.E. -- "Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome," "Probe politely to understand all the customer's needs," "Present a solution for the customer to take home today," "Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns," and "End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return."

-- Employees who are six minutes late three times in six months may be fired.

-- So many people on Apple's first retail team came from Gap that people joked that they were working at "Gapple."

-- While Geniuses make up to $30 an hour, other employees make $9 to $15 an hour, and few employees move up into corporate positions.

-- New employees are made to shadow more experienced co-workers and are forbidden to talk to customers until they're ready--which takes a few weeks, or more.

-- Steve Jobs is deeply invested in the details of the store, down to the kind of security cables holding devices down.

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