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Apple to launch official retail presence in India with Croma partnership

Consumers in India will soon get a taste of the Apple Store experience as local electronics chain Croma is preparing to launch store-within-a-store outlets at six locations in Mumbai and Bangalore.




Apple's partnership with Tata-owned Croma is expected to produce store-within-a-store concepts similar to those seen domestically at Best Buy and Target, reports The Economic Times. Five Mumbai stores —in Malad, Juhu, Oberoi Mall, Phoenix Mall and Ghatkopar —and one in Jayanagar, Bangalore will host Apple products in dedicated retail space measuring in at about 400 to 500 square-feet.

"We are proud to partner Apple to launch the Apple Store in India and extremely bullish about it," said Avijit Mitra, CEO of Croma parent company Infiniti Retail. "These stores will be modeled on the global design and will offer the best experience to consumers, showcasing the entire range of Apple products."

Each Croma location will boast a complement of Apple-trained employees, wooden tables, lighting elements and product displays familiar to anyone who has visited one of Apple's many international brick-and-mortar stores. According to the publication, Apple's decision to set up shop in India through retail partnerships is a strategic move to control customer experience without dealing with bureaucratic red tape.

Apple has for years been rumored to be looking to break into India's burgeoning marketplace. Initial reports claimed company executives met with potential partners as early as 2013 to discuss store-within-a-store initiatives designed to push iOS devices into smaller "tier II and III" markets. For now, it seems Apple is taking a top-down approach in limiting its retail expansion efforts to major metropolitan cities.

The Croma partnership comes just weeks after CEO Tim Cook met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss potential investments in the country. Modi was in California last month to discuss investment opportunities with a number of Silicon Valley tech companies.