FORTUNE — After Apple (AAPL) public relations released a statement calling staffing cutbacks at its Apple Stores a “mistake” that was being reversed, many thought that John Browett’s days at the company might be numbered.
Browett is the Wharton MBA who was brought in from the giant British electronics chain Dixons to run Apple’s retail operations after their creator — Ron Johnson — left to run J.C. Penney
Johnson had famously emphasized service over profitability, an approach that helped burnish Apple’s reputation and make its high-profile stores magnets for PC-weary consumers.
Browett, by contrast, was quoted in Gary Allen’s ifoAppleStore as complaining that the stores were “too bloated” with employees. He was determined, according to insiders, to make them run “leaner.”
“This has the stench,” wrote The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple last week, “of a man looking to make a name for himself.”
But Browett is still running the shops, and a new report suggests that he was just following orders — orders that came all the way from the top.
Once again, ifoAppleStore‘s Allen has the scoop:
You can read the full report here.
UPDATE: In his quarterly report on Apple Store economics, Needham’s Charlie Wolf notes that same-store sales grew just 3.2% in the June quarter, down from 23.3% in March. “Despite a continuing expansion of the Apple Store footprint,” he writes, “store revenues have not kept pace with the growth in Apple’s revenues because of the rapid expansion of the company’s iPhone and iPad distribution network. We expect this trend to continue.”
But, he adds…