Today, Apple’s popular iPhone 5 officially goes on sale in mainland China, and both China Unicom and China Telecom also start offering the iPhone 5 to customers.
So before we get into the bits we have about the hiring, we took the chance to have a little chit-chat with some of our contacts in the flagship Hong Kong Apple Store at IFC Center to explain to us just how the hierarchy in an Apple store works. Here is what we found out.
In every store you have a Store Leader, which is the head person for that store. They deal with all departments and act as the link between corporate and Retail divisions in Apple. Down them below that it gets split three ways.
The Red Zone
You have the Red Zone, which is usually the front of the store. That is the part where all the product gets sold. It is run by the Red Zone Leader. Note that the back of house, the shipping is also run by the Red Zone leader in many stores, but there may be one dedicated to it in bigger stores. Also of note is the Visuals Team, the team responsible for making everything look tidy and resetting all the Apple devices everyday when people prank on them (recently someone spent 2 hours to reset the browser’s default page on in-store iPads).
You have the Family Room near the back of the store, or on another floor. This is where all the geniuses who fix things, creative who teach lessons and business customers come for service. It is run by another leader, from the Family Room. The Geniuses also have a Lead Genius to coordinate things and the creative likewise have a Lead Creative to ensure things go smoothly.
Finally you have the Business team, which has of course a business manager. They are dedicated to both selling and providing service to business clients. They work with both the Red Zone and Family Room to provide the service the clients need.
One More Thing
One other thing, there is a very special Store Leader called a Market Director. He/She is the Leader for the whole market and has the responsibility to make decisions based on trends in the market. The one for the China market is in Pudong Shanghai Apple store, and the one for Hong Kong is in the IFC Apple Store.
So, now that we have an understanding of leadership in an Apple store, let us show you what we had passed onto us by one of our readers. It’s an internal recruitment ad for Apple, that may or may not be live yet. We quote:
Store Lead-5946-Tricities/Pitt/MapleBrief Description:
The Apple Store is not only one of the most innovative retailers in the world; it’s also one of the fastest growing. With more than 350 stores worldwide and counting, Apple is growing across Asia and we are looking for smart, engaging, supportive, and dynamic people who have a passion for Apple and its products to join the team.
Store Leader may be the official job title, but Visionary is more like it. We’re looking for people with premium-brand retail store or district leadership experience who are ready to take it up a notch. If you’re an innovative thinker, a master strategic planner, and an excellent coach, partner, and friend, then you could be a key player in our retail revolution.
This individual will be asked to lead a store in China or Hong Kong therefore we are looking for individuals who are interested in relocating. Candidates must have at least 10 years of senior management experience in a customer service rich field. The ability to speak Mandarin or Cantonese (or the willingness to learn) is essential.
We will be visiting select cities on the West Coast so you can have a chance to Get to Know Apple and find out more about Apple Retail and our Stores and opportunities in China and Hong Kong.”
So, it seems Apple is looking for those rare individuals that can handle the stressful job at a China Apple retail store that is routinely packed. However, they did not choose Chinese nationals. This is very interesting, because they have had the job open in both the Hong Kong and Chinese market for quite some time. Even more curious, they offer to train a candidate in one of the most difficult languages too. In our opinion this shows they are very desperate for candidates, or they are planning on opening up many China Apple retail stores in the near future as we have been following.
We will keep you informed as we find out more.