Apple Has Dealers Worried With Its Entry Into Indian Retail Space: 'A Challenging Situation'

Apple Inc AAPL for years operated in the Indian market via resellers and their brick-and-mortar stores but the company is now finally opening its first retail store in Mumbai – but that has the dealers worried. 

What Happened: Indian Apple dealers — whose premium sales used to come from Apple iPhones — are reportedly worried that the launch of the tech giant’s first retail store in the country will result in a drop in their sales.

"The presence of an Apple Store could also change consumer behavior in the area; people may prefer to buy it directly from the store," Manish Khatri of Mumbai-based Mahesh Telecom told Business Today.

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"Access to a wide range, expert advice and support, personalized services and high-quality experience will be an added advantage to them. It also depends upon the pricing and offers they come on the product… The experience overall for a consumer will be great, no doubt. For us, it will be a challenging situation, especially during the new launches," he added. 

The soon-to-be-opened Apple store in Mumbai’s Jio World Drive Mall draws inspiration from the distinct artwork found on the Kaali Peeli taxis that are typical of the financial capital of India.

The store will feature a variety of creative elements, incorporating vibrant versions of the decals used on the taxis. Customers will have the opportunity to explore numerous Apple products and services at the store.

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Shilpa Agarwal, a Mumbai-based corporate professional, told the publication that till now, she made her Apple purchases from authorized sellers but "with Apple Retail coming up in Mumbai, all my future purchases will be from this store."

Indian customers have long favored Apple Online Stores to purchase products to ensure the authenticity of the items they are buying and the opening of the new store will only strengthen this trend and steer more customers away from resellers.

"Apple would seek to replicate the famed Apple retail experience – including overall consumer experience, staff knowledge and expertise, and the service standards, amongst others – in India, and steer greater market growth in the years ahead," said Prabhu Ram, Head of Industry Intelligence Group (IIG) at CyberMedia Research, as per the report.

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