Apple partnering with local retailer Croma to set up first stores in India next month

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At long last, first Apple Stores are about to launch in India, home to population of 1.25 billion people. As reported by The Economic Times, Apple Stores will be debuting in India in partnership with Tata-owned consumer electronics chain Croma, which will host Apple products at six of its locations as a pilot.

Apple’s tried and tested store-within-a-store concept will go live at five Croma stores in Mumbai—Malad, Juhu, Oberoi Mall and Phoenix Mall—in addition to Croma’s Jayanagar store in the city of Bengaluru, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state and the center of the country’s technology industry.

The store design, furniture, fixtures and lighting will be the same as that used in Apple’s own retail stores. Croma’s sales staff will receive training from Apple.

Crome operates a network of 97 retail locations in India that attract about 3.8 million customers. The move marks a major change for the Cupertino firm which used to lack official retail presence as it’s relied on carriers and hand-picked local resellers to market and push its products in India using the franchise model.

“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.”

The stores are scheduled to open by Diwali next month.

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year, is the biggest and the brightest festival in India.

The new iPhones will roll out to India beginning October 16 while the Apple Watch will hit the country by Diwali, the report adds.

The Cupertino firm sold Apple sold a Counter-Point Research-estimated 1.7 million iPhones in India between October 2014 and September 2015 versus 1.1 million units in the year-earlier period.

These numbers don’t take into account unofficial sales channels as many Indians buy their iPhones from friends and family overseas.

Source: The Economic Times