Monday, 7 October 2013

Apple plans 100 standalone stores and store-in-stores for smaller cities in India: 

Finally, Apple seems to have diverted its attention towards the Indian market. According to The Economic Times, Apple plans to set up 100 exclusive standalone stores under the franchisee model in Tier-II and Tier-III Indian cities and it's looking for franchise partners. Though the company hasn't set any deadlines for setting up these stores, it could roll them out in this fiscal year.  The 100 “standalone” stores would be in addition to store-in-store locations that it plans for the country.

India country head Maneesh Dhir and telecom business chief Sanjay Kaul have reportedly said that they look forward to a rapid growth in the country. The obvious reason could be the growing popularity of its arch-rival Samsung and other smartphone makers. Needless to say, Apple had been neglecting the Indian market until recently.

The report further says Dhir and Kaul had a meeting with retailers such as Next Retail, Croma, Future Group, Reliance Retail, The Mobile Store, UniverCell Telecom and more to discuss this expansion. A senior retail executive has disclosed that it could be a challenge to set up Apple stores in smaller towns, especially “considering the stringent standards for such outlets.” A chief of another retail chain revealed that Apple wants to grow fast in India and is looking beyond the metros.

It should be noted that Apple does not have a single "Apple Store" in India. The decision to include smaller towns in the company’s strategy instead of launching an exclusive store suggests that Apple is once again betting on the reseller network to continue pushing sales in Tier-II cities. For instance, Mumbai has at least 10 premium Apple resellers, while the relatively smaller city of Pune has only four. A quick glance at the Apple India website revealed that smaller cities like Surat and Lucknow only have one re-seller each to their name. These are the cities where Apple is looking to expand.

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