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Apple retail sheds 1,600 full-time positions

Apple's retail store network contracted by 1,600 full-time equivalent positions during its second fiscal quarter as the economy slowed.

Apple is in excellent financial shape, but at the expense of about 1,600 full-time retail positions. Corrine Schulze/CNET

Apple's retail group shed about 1,600 full-time equivalent workers during its second fiscal quarter.

Apple's second fiscal quarter was a blowout considering the state of the economy, but executives noted that the retail division took a hit during the quarter, with average revenue per store declining to $5.9 million from $7.1 million a year ago. With overall revenue from that segment increasing just 1 percent to $1.74 billion and with 45 new stores having been opened since last year, something had to give.

The retail arm of the company now employs 14,000 full-time equivalent workers, down from 15,600 at the end of Apple's first fiscal quarter, according to a filing with the SEC. Reports surfaced late last year that Apple was looking into ways to reduce the number of hours worked by part-time employees as a hedge against a coming recession.

Apple opened just one store during the quarter. In January it said that it plans to ease back on the number of stores it opens in 2009, which seems prudent amid a global economic downturn.