Apple is looking to improve its struggling retail operation in India by establishing several large “flagship outlets” to improve sales there.
These 5-6 franchisee-run outlets will each be at least three times larger than the current, 1,000-squarefoot stores and may even go up to 5,000 square foot, three senior industry executives said. The ‘Flagship Apple Premium Reseller’ outlets will become a “stepdown” version of the iconic company-owned Apple Retail Stores and will come up in “extremely prominent locations” as anchor shops in malls and high-street shopping areas, the executives said.
Apple has long eyed India as an important growth market, even in the face of falling sales in the country. Last month it was reported that Apple had a minuscule 1% piece of the smartphone market in the country.
Economic Times says the Cupertino company currently has about 150 franchisee-run Apple Premium Reseller stores in India. These stores are up to 1,500 square feet in size. A franchise holder told the publication that the flagship stores will be located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, and later in Hyderabad and Pune.
“With company-owned Apple Stores yet to take shape in the country, Apple wants some of the franchisee run outlets to up the experience game through this new format. This is part of Apple’s new India strategy to focus on selling on experience rather than discount,” he said.
The new stores would have a footprint of up to 5,000 square feet, significantly dwarfing the current “Premium Reseller” outlets.
Apple is currently unable to open official retail locations in India, as Indian government regulations stipulate 30% of products sold must be manufactured locally.