With iPhone sales hitting an all-time low in India, Apple has revamped its strategy for the country under the leadership of Michel Coulomb. Now, as a part of its new strategy, Apple is looking to upgrade its franchisee outlets in key metro cities.
The company is looking to upgrade its franchisee outlets located in key areas in metro cities. It is looking to expand them by over three times — up to 1000sq. ft, with certain stores being expanded to as much as 5,000 sq. ft. These stores will be called ‘Flagship Apple Premium Reseller’ stores and will be a stepdown version of Apple’s own retail stores situated in key and prominent locations around the world.
By opening these premium stores, Apple is looking to reinforce its premium branding and reputation in India after its branding has taken a massive hit due to frequent discounts from online ecommerce players. The company hopes to woo in more customers with its snazzy looking stores who are willing to pay a premium for such an experience.
In the first batch, Apple is looking to open its ‘Flagship’ premium reseller stores in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai. In the second stage, the company will expand these stores to Hyderabad and Pune.
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.
“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.
Apple has been looking to open its direct stores in India for a few years now. However, the strict FDI regulations require the company to source at least 30 percent of components locally which Apple has been unable to do due to the cutting-edge nature of its products. Thus, the company is now doing the next best thing: improving its franchisee based retail stores.
Given the exorbitant pricing of the iPhone X in India, it is not surprising that iPhone sales in India have hit an all-time low. With Apple launching a budget $500-600 iPhone as a part of its 2018 iPhone lineup, there’s a possibility of the company making a strong comeback in the premium Indian smartphone market.[Via Economic Times]