According to a report by The Economic Times, Apple is planning to open ‘Flagship Apple Premium Reseller’ outlets at key locations in India, which will serve as a “stepdown” version of the iconic company-owned Apple Retail Stores.
The move comes after Apple was pushed down to the third slot in the Rs 30,000-plus premium smartphone segment in India for the first time in the April-June quarter.
Citing three senior industry executives, the source notes that these 5-6 franchisee-run outlets will each be at least three times larger than the current, 1,000-square foot stores and may even go up to 5,000 square foot. Furthermore, these outlets will open in “extremely prominent locations” as anchor shops in malls and high-street shopping areas.
Cupertino, California-based Apple is trying to reinforce its premium reputation in the Indian market and drive experience-based sales after brand dilution brought about by excessive online discounting, they said.
With company-owned Apple Stores yet to take shape in the country, Apple wants some of the franchise 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 a discount.
Apple is even open to the idea of a couple of these flagship stores being as large as 5,000 square feet if a suitable location is available. “The key is getting the right location, which is not easy. A team from the company is identifying locations”, an executive said.
Apple currently has about 150 franchise run Apple Premium Reseller stores in India, which are up to 1,500 square feet in area. One such franchise holder said the flagship stores will come up in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai, which are Apple’s biggest markets in India, and later in Hyderabad and Pune.
An Apple India spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.