Indian salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group plans to open 100 stores across the country that will only sell Apple Inc products, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Monday, citing two people aware of the matter.
Tata Group’s Infiniti Retail, which runs the consumer electronics store chain Croma, will be an Apple-authorised reseller and set up stores at shopping malls, high-street and neighbourhood locations, the report said.
Tata has begun talks 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 the publication.
Apple and Tata Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ calls and emails seeking comment.
Last month, it was reported that the group was in talks to buy Wistron’s only manufacturing facility in India for up to Rs. 5,000 crore, citing people familiar with the discussions.
If it fails to strike a deal to buy the facility in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, Tata could consider a joint venture with Taiwan’s Wistron – one of Apple’s top vendors in India – the report said, citing sources close to Tata.
Earlier this month, Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Pegatron reportedly began assembling the new iPhone 14 in India. Both Foxconn and Pegatron produce Apple’s latest iPhone 14 handset in India, the former began assembling the smartphone in September.
Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple has bet big on India since it began iPhone assembly in the country in 2017 via Wistron and later with Foxconn, in line with the Indian government’s push for local manufacturing.
J.P.Morgan analysts estimate Apple may make one out of four iPhones in India by 2025 as the tech giant moves some production away from China, amid mounting geopolitical tensions and strict COVID-19 lockdowns in the country.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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