Apple’s first retail store in India opens, and Tim Cook is there


Apple BKC with Apple logo upfront.
Apple BKC features huge glass walls and a timber ceiling.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first retail store in India opened its doors to shoppers Tuesday, and CEO Tim Cook showed up to celebrate. Apple BKC — housed in an energy-efficient structure with some stunning architectural details — is located inside Jio World Drive, a huge shopping complex in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The Indian store opening marks an important milestone for Apple, as it seeks to expand its retail and manufacturing presence in the world’s most populous country.

Tim Cook visits India to celebrate the store’s launch

Cook interacted with customers who lined up outside Apple BKC and shared some photos with them on Twitter. And Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s SVP of retail, also showed up for the store’s opening.

Apple’s first store in India is carbon neutral

Apple calls the new Mumbai location one of its most energy-efficient stores worldwide. It features a dedicated solar array and does not rely on fossil fuels to power its operations. This allows the store to run on 100% renewable energy, making it carbon neutral.

Like other iconic Apple Stores worldwide, Apple BKC stands out with its architecture. Below is how the company explained the architecture.

Apple BKC features a triangular handcrafted timber ceiling that extends beyond the glass façade to the underside of the exterior canopy, reflecting the unique geometry of the store. Each tile is made from 408 pieces of timber, forming 31 modules per tile with a total of 1,000 tiles that make up the ceiling. There are over 450,000 individual timber elements, all of which were assembled in Delhi. Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by two stone walls sourced from Rajasthan and a 14-meter-long stainless steel staircase connecting the ground level and the cantilevered mezzanine.

More than 100 Apple employees, who can collectively speak 20 languages, work at the store. Besides showcasing the latest Apple products, customers can place their orders on Apple’s online store and pick them up from the retail store later. Apple also offers a trade-in program, where you can exchange your existing iPhone or Mac for a new device for a discount.

A summer of celebration for Apple BKC

To mark the store’s opening, Apple BKC will host a special “Mumbai Rising” Today at Apple series daily throughout the summer. The free program aims to bring local artists, Apple customers and creatives together to “celebrate the local community and culture.”

The different sessions that are a part of the series include:

  • Music Lab: Deep Listening in Urban Spaces with Sandunes
  • Photo Lab: Portraits of Resistance with Prarthna Singh
  • Design Lab: Every Poster Tells a Story with Boomranng Studio
  • Art Lab: Drawing Homage to Mumbai with Kohla

Apple Saket opens on April 20

Later this week, Apple will open its second retail store in India. Apple Saket is located in Delhi, India’s capital.

This week’s store openings showcase Apple’s success in expanding its retail presence in India after years of delay. The company has been trying to open its first retail store in the country since at least 2019. The opening was delayed for multiple reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple also continues to make a major push into manufacturing iPhones in India as it tries to decrease its reliance on Chinese labor.

Update: We originally published this article on April 17. We updated it with info about the opening of Apple BKC.


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