“Apple Stores are one of Steve Jobs’ greatest legacies, but the retail business has been a headache for Apple lately,” Katie Lobosco reports for CNNMoney.

“The latest migraine: The friendly, t-shirt wearing retail workers helping you pick out your latest iPhone filed a class-action lawsuit late last month, suing the tech giant over unpaid wages,” Lobosco reports. “A year ago this week, Apple began laying off recent Apple Store hires to make its retail operation leaner. The problem: Apple has been praised for its ubiquitous help, and the cuts were made smack in the middle of the busy back-to-school season. Apple later reversed course and publicly admitted the layoffs were a ‘mistake.’ The company fired John Browett, its retail chief, two months later.”

Lobosco reports, “Sales at Apple Stores have also begun to sink, and visits are down. This past quarter, Apple Stores averaged 16,000 visitors per store each week, down from 17,000 during the same period a year earlier.”

MacDailyNews Take: The Great Apple Product Drought of ’13.

Lobosco reports, “Per-store revenue fell 9% year-over-year, while Apple’s overall sales were up 1%… [And], for now, the Apple Store is leaderless. Apple has yet to find a permanent replacement for Browett, who only lasted fewer than 10 months in the job. He replaced Ron Johnson, who is largely credited with developing Apple’s retail strategy. Johnson left for J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500) in 2011… though he’s currently available.”

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