After years of never ending negotiations to get the right to open Apple Stores in India may have come to a positive conclusion. It's being reported today that India has just made it much easier for brands such as Apple and the Gap to sell to its 1.2 billion people. The Indian government announced Wednesday that global single-brand retailers will no longer need its permission to own and operate stores in the country.
Foreign companies previously needed government approval to own more than 49% of an Indian retail operation, leading many to partner with Indian companies or rely on local distributors and franchises.
The relaxation of restrictions on retail investment could benefit the Indian economy in other ways.
"Allowing foreign brands to directly invest in retailing in India will improve customers' shopping experience and push Indian retailing companies to upgrade their services and offerings," Ahmed Timoumi, a professor of marketing at the Indian School of Business, told CNNMoney.
In July Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple is Designing their Largest Retail Stores ever for India with Enough Class to make them Tourist Attractions." The report noted that Apple was reportedly planning to open their largest Apple's Stores to date in India in terms of raw footage. The Indian report notes that the first Apple Stores in India will be between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet or roughly double the size of other global stores.
It was further noted that two senior industry executives told the Indian publication that the designs would rely heavily on glass like many of Apple's new stores, like the one under construction in Chicago or Apple's classic Fifth Avenue store in New York. And finally it was noted that the stores would be the biggest single brand electronic stores in India.
Perhaps now Apple could put those plans into action so that the next iPhone release in India could be supported by a phenomenal new flagship design to excite current and future Apple fans with fantastic service and training sessions.
It's definitely great news to kick off 2018.
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