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Apple cutting hours for part-time retail workers?

Fewer hours may be available for Apple's part-time retail employees, who will see their duties given to full-time staffers being asked to take on more work, AppleInsider reports.

Apple may be cutting the hours of part-time workers in its retail stores, such as this one in downtown San Francisco. Apple

Apple may be planning to shuffle its retail staffing plans in advance of what is expected to be a rough couple of months for the economy.

AppleInsider reports that the company's retail arm, which added 8,000 workers during the last year, is taking a few steps to reduce costs without laying off any employees.

According to the report, Apple is telling its part-time workers that they will be getting fewer hours for the foreseeable future, while full-time workers are going to be asked to do more.

Apple's retail operation uses a fair amount of part-time "Specialists" as greeters standing by the front door of its stores, directing customers to the appropriate parts of the store and answering basic questions. It seems that more and more of that role will be assigned to the fabled "Geniuses," who will have to get out from behind the service desk and walk the store floor more often, according to the report.

Nearly half of all Apple employees now work in the company's retail segment, which is probably the area of its business most exposed to a volatile economy. Apple has 32,000 full-time employees, 15,900 of whom work in retail.

The company has 3,100 part-time employees or contractors, but it's not clear how many of those people work in the retail segment. A call to Apple seeking comment on its plans for its part-time employees was not immediately returned.