In a rare out of company hire, Tim Cook has appointed John Browett, current chief executive of British electronics retailer Dixons, to head up Apple's retail arm. Browett will oversee Apple's retail operations, with Cook selecting him for his focus on premium customer service. "Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we've met," Cook said in the company press release. "We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple." But, Dixons, the number two U.K. gadget seller doesn't have all that great customer service.
As Yankees who have never shopped at Dixons, we were tipped off to this reputation by Financial Times consumer tech journalist Jonathan Margolis. "#Apple has hired bloke from Dixons to run retail. Tim Cook very excited about this as he's Mr Customer Service. Has he been to a Dixons?" he tweeted. A little Internet reporting confirmed the dig. Though Dixons didn't disappoint in overall service, as the graphic below via customer review site reevoo shows, the company seriously lags in the customer service department.
Another ratings site, TrustPilot, confirmed the bad rap, giving the place two stars, including shaming anecdotes titled "Should be no stars because they are 100% useless." Google also reveals insightful discussions like "Is Dixons Customer Service That Bad?" leading us to believe this is a thing. At least, enough of a thing to worthy blog-rants.
Though, some think that Browett shouldn't take the blame for this shortcoming. "Can't blame Browett; he's done a great job at Dixons and Apple is too good an opportunity to pass up," tweeted retail analyst Neil Saunders. Browett gets credit for "leading a transformation of Dixons' fortunes through store revamps and service improvements," The Wall Street Journal's Jessica Vascellaro tells us. Though, we're not sure what kind of transformation the company had, considering Dixons's shares have lost more than 30 percent of their value over the last year, reports The Guardian. And, under his leadership, Browett closed 77 of its 177 locations, notes The Verge.
As senior vice president of retail, Browett will head up Apple's successful Apple store strategy, including its Chinese expansion. As Cook's first hire -- he promoted iTunes wizard Eddy Cue a few months ago -- hopefully Browett will prove he had not much to do with all the company's decline. With all the bad Foxconn related press, Apple doesn't need someone to tarnish their pristine reputation for customer service.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.