India will finally be getting its first Apple Store. The Cupertino giant has tied up with Tata’s consumer electronic chain Croma, who will host Apple at six locations: five Croma stores in Mumbai and one in Bangalore. The locations in Mumbai include Juhu, Oberoi Mall, Malad, Ghatkopar, and Phoenix Mall, while in Bangalore it’ll be opened in Jayanagar. These stores are expected to start by Diwali next month.
“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, parent company of 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.”
A sneaky though smart move by Apple as partnering with Croma saves the company from the hassles of those bureaucratic shenanigans. Apple’s plans of setting up its exclusive stores in the country, have long faced India’s mandatory domestic norms for a single brand foreign-direct investment in retail in the past. Though joining hands with Croma gives the iPhone maker the opportunity to set up makeshift Apple stores in the country. As Apple won’t own these stores, it’ll just have franchises who’ll act as premium resellers.
The store design will be exactly identical to Apple’s global stores, with the same furniture and lightning. Moreover, the store staff will also be trained by the company. Apple has notably increased its retail presence in the country since the launch of iPhone 6, becoming one of the fastest-growing markets for Apple. The company sold more than 1.7 million iPhone units in the country between October 2014 to September 2015.
Meanwhile, the sales of newly launched iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus starts on October 16, while the company also plans to launch Apple Watch in India by Diwali.