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If I were to tell you that one of the largest tech companies in the world has no official presence in the 2nd largest populated country on Earth, you would question my claim’s authenticity, correct?
The Times of India reported the other day that Apple (AAPL) will be officially setting up Apple stores – well, a few wooden tables and counters in a section of a department store – in multiple locations in India.
Next month, Apple will be partnering with Tata-owned Croma to develop an Inception-esque “store-within-a-store” concept where 400-500 square feet will be allocated at five Croma stores in Mumbai — Malad, Juhu, Oberoi Mall, Phoenix Mall and Ghatkopar.
“We are proud to partner Apple to launch the Apple Store in India and extremely bullish about it,” said Avijit Mitra, chief executive officer of Infiniti Retail, which owns Croma. “These stores will be modeled on the global design and will offer the best experience to consumers, showcasing the entire range of Apple products.”
Each location will not only have the same wooden tables as a typical Apple store, but will have Apple-trained employees, the same lighting elements, and products will be displayed in the same manner.
According to the report, Apple’s goal to set up shops-within-shops in India through retail partnerships is a strategic move to control customer experience without dealing with bureaucratic red tape.
As the Times of India report states, “CEO Tim Cook is said to have suggested an easing of the sourcing rules when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US recently, according to two persons with knowledge of this. Croma said it has 97 stores across the country with 3.8 million customers. “
Furthermore, the article states, “Apple owns more than 460 stores in 17 countries — more than half in the US. The company has significantly increased its retail presence in the country in the past year with five distributors as India has become one of the fastest growing markets for Apple.”
Apple sold a record 13 million iPhone 6S’son its debut weekend. Just think of what their sales for the iPhone 7 will be when officially selling in India’s marketplace.
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