Apple to open its first retail store in India next year; online sales to begin this year
Apple has been present in the Indian market but it has relied on third-party sellers to sell its products in the market. However, as the company hinted a few times earlier, that system is about to change.
The company’s CEO Tim Cook revealed during the annual shareholder meeting that the Apple Online Store will soon open in India, at some point later this year. He also confirmed that the first retail store in the country will be operational from next year.
While making this announcement, Tim Cook said: “I’m a huge believer in the opportunity in India. It’s a country with a vibrancy and demographics that are just unparalleled.”
As per the reports, the first company-owned Apple Store will come up in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex and for that, the company has chosen Maker Maxity Mall for the iconic outlet in India. It is said that the company has leased around 20,000-25,000 sq ft space spread over three floors in the mall.
The company is currently camping for designing and creating layout of the outlet and will take about eight months to a year to finish. Earlier, it was said that the Apple Store could be operations sometime later this year, but now Tim Cook has confirmed 2021 launch.
Apple had been trying for years with the Indian government to get exemption for a rule that requires companies applying for more than 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) through single-brand retailing route to locally source 30% of the products they sell in the country.
In August last year, India amended rules for single brand licence holders to include exports and contract manufacturing to be counted in the mandatory 30% local sourcing norm over a period of five years. With this, apart from its biggest Apple Store in Mumbai, the company is also planning to open 2-3 offline retail stores in India soon.