Apple will open its first India store in Mumbai Tuesday morning, adding the country to the likes of the US, UK, China and Singapore where the iPhone maker has its own retail outlets. Executives at Cupertino, California-based Apple said having a local retail presence would help the company create deeper connections with customers here.
The Apple store at Jio World Drive in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), which will open at 11 am, is spread over 20,000 square feet over two levels, about a third the size of Apple’s flagship store in New York but similar to its outlet on London’s Regent Street. It will employ some 100 people who together can speak 25 languages.
Its second store will open in Delhi Thursday, April 20. The outlet at Saket will be smaller at an estimated 8,400 square feet.
Apple has 521 stores across the world, excluding the two it is opening in India this week.
Chief executive Tim Cook is in Mumbai and will participate in the store opening events.
During the India trip, his first since 2016, Cook is expected to meet top policymakers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and apprise them of the company’s plans to deepen iPhone manufacturing in India, and explore other areas such as production of AirPods. The company has been ramping up local manufacturing for exports as well as to meet growing domestic demand in a country where it employs some 2,500 people across its corporate offices. Cook will leave on April 21.
The opening of the retail stores underlines Apple’s keenness to gain a stronger foothold in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market after China, according to experts.
“Retail is where the best of Apple comes together. Since we opened our Apple store online here in India, we’ve been able to create meaningful connections with our customers across the country,” Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president, retail and people at Apple, told reporters Monday.
She said the opening of physical stores in Mumbai and Delhi would allow the brand to take these connections deeper.
The Mumbai store is among Apple’s most sustainable and inclusive stores globally, she said.
The store is operationally carbon neutral, running on 100% renewable energy, the company said in a news release.
Wendy Beckman, senior director, EMEIA at Apple Retail, said almost half the team members in the Mumbai outlet, including the leadership, were women.
The first level of the store contains the display area for its products, including accessories like phones cases, AirPods and Apple Watch straps.
The second level is an extension of the accessories display, and will also serve as the service area where customers can pick up their online orders, or get their product or service-related issues resolved.
The store layout includes an area marked as Apple Forum which it will use to offer free daily sessions to educate customers to get the most out of the products, along with sessions to offer tips and tricks about products and services under the initiative ‘Today at Apple’.
Under a special programme titled ‘Mumbai Rising’, the iPhone maker has collaborated with local artists who will share tips on how they use Apple products to create their art.