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Apple in talks to open a company-owned store in Pune in this mall

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Apple officials visited the Pune mall in February as a possible site for its next owned store in India

New Delhi: Apple Inc. is in talks with Phoenix Mills Ltd. to open a company-owned and company-operated Apple-branded iconic store in the company’s Pune mall, two people familiar with the development said.

“Talks are on for Apple taking space in the Mall of the Millennium in Pune,” said one of the persons. The second person said Apple officials visited the mall in February to explore the shopping centre as a possible site for the Cupertino-based tech giant to open an Apple store there.

Apple did not respond to a questionnaire emailed to the company’s India spokesperson on Saturday. Rashmi Sen, the chief operating officer of Phoenix Mills, which owns the Mall of the Millennium in Pune, did not respond to IndiaRetailing’s email.

IndiaRetailing reported in March that Apple is now looking at Pune and Bengaluru as the next phase of expansion of its company-owned brick-and-mortar stores in India. The second source said the US tech titan is delighted by the response the company received for two of its Apple stores that were opened last year in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Last year, Apple debuted in India with its first two company-owned-and-operated brick-and-mortar outlets. The first store was opened in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex in April 2023 and that was followed by one in New Delhi’s Select Citywalk Mall three days later. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, had travelled to India for the store launches.

Within months of its Delhi store launch, Apple dethroned the Spanish fashion brand Zara as the number one store by sales per month in Select Citywalk Mall, according to sources. Zara clocks about Rs 12 crore in sales a month from its store in the prominent South Delhi mall.

Apple is expanding in India as the company counts the country as one of the most promising markets for the Cupertino giant. In the previous fiscal year ending March 2023, Apple India generated Rs 49,321 crore in sales, up 48% from financial year 2022 sales of Rs 33,381 crore. In 2023, Apple achieved a milestone of shipping 10 million iPhones to India, a 60% jump from the previous year.

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