Indian conglomerate Tata Group plans to open 100 small stores across the country that will only sell Apple products in the world's second most populous country, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Monday.
The iPhone maker is partnering with Tata-owned Infiniti Retail, which runs the consumer electronics store chain Croma, for the venture.
Infiniti Retail will become an Apple franchisee partner and plans to open 100 such outlets of 500 square feet to 600 square feet each at malls as well as high street and neighbourhood locations, Economic Times reported.
“Tata has already started discussions with premium malls and high streets for space,” the newspaper said, citing a retail consultant aware of the development.
“The lease terms include details of brands and stores that can’t be opened near the outlet. This is similar to the terms that Apple insists on.”
India is the world’s fifth-biggest economy and the second-largest smartphone market after China but iPhone sales have struggled to capture a large share of the market against cheaper smartphones from competitors.
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The tech company is committed to India, where it first began manufacturing its iPhone SE in 2017 and has since continued to assemble a number of iPhone models.
Apple opened its online store for India two years ago, but the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed plans for a flagship store in the country.
Apple will make its iPhone 14 in India, the company said in September, as manufacturers shift production from China amid geopolitical tension and pandemic restrictions that have disrupted supply chains for many industries.
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Tata’s Apple authorised reseller outlets will be smaller than Apple premium reseller stores, which are typically more than 1,000 square feet in area, Economic Times reported.
“The smaller stores will mostly sell iPhones, iPads and watches, while the larger format ones will have the entire Apple range, including MacBook computers.”