Apple India’s Physical Retail Store Launch Delayed Due to COVID-19

Apple has delayed its plans to launch its first offline retailer in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporate has confirmed to Gadgets 360. CEO Tim Cook final yr introduced that the primary bodily Apple shops would open within the nation beginning 2021. The Cupertino firm has been working to set up its native retail presence within the Indian marketplace for a while. Last September, the corporate began its on-line retailer to start its retail enterprise within the nation. It was thought-about as a strategic transfer by Apple to stand towards conventional e-commerce gamers together with Amazon and Flipkart that additionally promote units such because the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

Without specifying particulars on till when the delay will likely be in place, Apple confirmed to Gadgets 360 on Friday that it has postponed the launch of its first bodily retailer within the nation. The improvement was first reported by The Indian Express.

Apple has been within the headlines for engaged on its bodily shops within the nation for the previous few months. In February final yr, CEO Tim Cook confirmed the plans and expressed that the corporate wished to have its native presence within the Indian retail sector.

“I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us,” Cook had mentioned whereas responding to shareholders throughout Apple’s annual shareholder assembly.

At current, Apple sells its units within the nation by means of distributors who function underneath a franchise retail community. The firm, nevertheless, needs to go deeper within the Indian market by establishing its bodily shops.

The authorities enabled native retailing for gamers together with Apple by easing the previous 30 percent local sourcing norm in single-brand retail (SBRT). That step helped Apple launch its online retail store in September. It got here together with direct buyer assist and advantages together with trade-in and back-to-school reductions.

During an earnings name in January, Cook had revealed that Apple doubled its business in India within the December quarter in contrast to the year-ago counterpart. He had additionally proven optimism in persevering with the expansion over time.

Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have impacted Apple’s retail plans not simply in India however world wide because it had to shut most of its shops in key markets together with the US and China for a while — similar to different tech giants together with Google and Microsoft. The latter even permanently closed its retail stores shortly after the coronavirus outbreak emerged world wide.

Apple, nevertheless, seems to have the potential to get its retail plans on observe because it has already reopened all its shops within the US and most world wide. The firm’s revenue additionally nearly doubled to a whopping $21.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,60,829 crores) within the final quarter because the lockdowns eased in most international locations.

Cook additionally acknowledged through the current earnings name that there was a robust development in rising markets together with India. He, nevertheless, did not present any particular statistics to justify his feedback.

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