Apple Premium Resellers in India are receiving two months of financial assistance directly from Apple to offset losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from The Economic Times. The retail partners are being encouraged to reinforce their online sales offerings in service of changing shopping patterns.
Apple doesn’t operate any company-owned retail stores in India, instead relying on a vast network of Premium Resellers vetted by Apple and certified to offer training and support. India’s coronavirus lockdown began on March 25, effectively shuttering all of the roughly 500 outlets in the country.
Across the globe, Apple has supported its retail staff during coronavirus store closures with paid leave, flexible options to work from home, and wellness resources. The company isn’t leaving its partners in the dark, covering employee salaries and store rent for two months, as well as providing a 60-day credit period.
In addition, Premium Resellers are being asked to “explore and improve alternative channels to distribute Apple products, including online,” says The Economic Times. The Apple Online Store does not yet operate in India, and customers who attempt to purchase products are redirected to third party storefronts. These online platforms may be under increased stress due to an uptick of shoppers buying online, and in need of updates.
As late as February, Apple was still planning to open its first company-owned retail store in India by the end of 2021. Earlier reports suggested the store could be located at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex. It’s not yet known if disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic will delay Apple’s opening timeline.
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