Indian conglomerate Tata Group plans to open 100 exclusive Apple stores across India. According to an Economic Times report, these small stores of 500-600 sq ft each will only sell the company’s products like iPads, iPhones, and Apple watches. On the other hand, the large Apple stores typically exceed 1,000 sq ft and also sell Macbook computers. The tech giant is in talks with Tata-owned Infiniti Retail, which runs the consumer electronics store chain Croma, for the exclusive stores.
The exclusive stores will be set up at shopping malls, high-street, and neighborhood locations. Currently, there are 160 premium Apple retailers in India. Tata is already in contact with premium malls and high streets and the lease terms include details of brands and stores that cannot be opened near these outlets, a retail consultant aware of the matter told ET.
The development comes at a time when Tata group is in talks to buy iPhone maker Wistron’s facility in Karnataka for up to Rs. 5000 crores. Wistron is the tech giant’s one of the three manufacturers in India and its only plant is in Narasapura wherein it manufactures devices and components for Apple. If the buyout didn’t work out, Tata would try to strike a deal to enter into a joint venture with Taiwan-based Wistron, the Economic Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter.
In September, Bloomberg reported that Tata is trying to strike a deal with Wistron to establish a joint venture to assemble iPhones in India. Tata Electronic Pvt Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons that is attempting to become a scaled smartphone and component contract manufacturer. TEPL is already a components vendor for iPhones. The existing exclusive partnership with Apple is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India push and takes advantage of the government’s production-linked scheme, unveiled in August 2020.