The CEO of Apple Inc., Tim Cook, opened the company's first company-owned store in India on Tuesday, in a bid to boost sales at the iPhone manufacturer's retail outlets in the country.
It was Cook's pleasure to hug and pose for selfies with the first customers of the shop in Mumbai, the financial center, on Tuesday, dressed in gray pants, blue half-sleeve shirts, and sneakers. Throughout the store, dozens of employees were dressed in green T-shirts chanting, “BKC!, BKC!” Referring to the Bandra-Kurla Complex business district in which the store is located, they were shouting out, “BKC!, BKC!”.
As of March, Apple had sales of almost $6 billion in India throughout the entire fiscal year, which demonstrates the country's growing importance as it targets a market with 1.4 billion people to revive global revenue growth and diversify its manufacturing footprint beyond China.
Despite having been in business for years, Apple finally opened an outlet in India after meeting regulatory demands, including sourcing some of the products locally, after meeting regulators' demands. In the midst of a slowing global demand for tech products, Apple has identified India's growing middle class as a promising opportunity. The company is also expanding production in the country at a rapid pace.
Indians, who are among the world's second-largest mobile markets, buy the majority of their smartphones from local brands and Chinese manufacturers. These brands are lower priced than their iPhone rivals, which are owned by only 4% of the country's approximately 700 million smartphone users.
The company has announced that it is opening an outlet in New Delhi on Thursday after its Mumbai store. The company's stores serve as key points of retail and showcase, as well as becoming tourist hot spots, as well. As a result, they become a potential selling point, since they make it easy to return products and repair them. Also, they double as support centers, which could make them a great selling point for the company.
As tensions continue to rage between Washington and Beijing, Apple's retail push coincides with the company's expansion of local manufacturing. It tripled iPhone production in India last fiscal year from $3 billion to $7 billion. The company says it wants to reduce its dependence on China while the tensions remain high.
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