Despite its 13 French stores, a turnover of €205 million – a 55% increase on last year - “Apple Retail France”, has made a loss of €10 million. This loss is due to massive investments in Apple’s business development in France, and as a result, workers get no bonus. Furthermore, no sales based incentives exist, which is extremely bizarre for this profession.
Finally, some of the standard perks in France, such as financial bonuses, salary increases (the Apple store salary of €1300/month is really low for Paris), flexible working hours and the “thirteenth month bonus”, which corresponds to a month of salary and is usually offered at the end of the year, are non-negotiable. Apple only agreed to provide lunch tickets as the only benefit.
And there you go!
Although French people are not the most spectacular geeks – with technology trends often lagging behind other countries - Apple is a highly sought-after brand here in France, and the Apple Store concept has been warmly welcomed. Firstly, the Apple Store located in the prestigious Louvre Museum centre is open 7 days a week (almost unheard of here), with the “genius” people usually able to answer your questions and carry out minor repairs on your devices. Moreover, you can try out all the products in-store, which is so far the only outlet offering this service.
Unfortunately, despite all the excitement for Apple products and employees’ pride in working for one of the trendiest companies around, we’re not even close to making a change in the French mentality. If French law doesn’t force employers to adapt, employees’ strikes will – and what better time for Apple employees to make their plea heard than during the company’s biggest launch of the year?
Whether you like it or not, you can’t ignore the power of the strike. That’s the beauty of France.