Reliance to build Istores to market Apple Ipods

Economic Times Reports that Reliance Retail has clinched an exclusive marketing and distribution deal with Apple for standalone iStores.Inte...

Economic Times Reports that Reliance Retail has clinched an exclusive marketing and distribution deal with Apple for standalone iStores.Interestingly Apple's products are quite popular in India and products like iphone which are not even released in India are available in Indian black market.India is a heavy consumer of music and mobiles and even PC sales are on the rise in all three category Apple has a product and really cannot ignore India but has been unable to penetrate Indian market because of piracy so this deal increases in significance. This is Reliance Retail’s first exclusive alliance with an international brand. The partnership was sealed on Monday. The first store, to be called iStore by Reliance Digital, will come up by October-end in Bangalore.
This is the first time Apple is tying up with a big corporate house for distribution anywhere in the world. The iStores would be standalone stores selling Apple products ranging from Macintosh computers to iPods and later, once it’s launched in India, the latest cult offering from Apple, the iPhone.
The standalone store, which will be opened just ahead of Diwali, will be spread over 2,000 sq ft and is currently under construction. Globally, Apple stores are not mere retail stores, they feature a theatre for presentations and workshops, a studio for training with Apple products, and a Genius Bar for technical support and repairs, and also offer free workshops to the public.
The Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Retail will open 10 iStores by the end of the calendar year. Apple would invest in market development, said sources. Confirming the deal, a company executive said the partnership will benefit both. While it would give Apple immediate presence and scale, it would give Reliance Digital mileage as the ‘stores would be co-branded’. Reliance Digital, the consumer electronics chain of the retail venture, so far has only one store which opened earlier this year in the NCR.
Apple currently has few resellers in India but no company-owned store. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers and value-added resellers.Apple had 185 stores open as of June 30, 2007. In the Asia-Pacific, Apple has stores in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India.
Apple’s portable music player, iPod, is also sold at department stores, member-only warehouse stores, large retail chains, and specialty retail stores, apart from Apple stores.
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