Samsung Electronics opened its biggest mobile store in the world in India on September 11 as it tries to take pole position in the worldâs second-biggest smartphone market amid fierce competition from Chinese brands.
The South Korean tech giantâs roughly 33,000 square foot (3,000 square metre) store in the southern tech hub of Bengaluru will help it extend its lead in India over global rival Apple, which has yet to open any flagship stores in the country.
India, which boasts more than a billion wireless connections, presents a lucrative opportunity for smartphone makers to expand beyond China and the United States where growth has slowed.
Samsung opened the worldâs biggest smartphone plant outside Indian capital New Delhi just two months ago.
âIndia is an extremely important market,â Mohandeep Singh, senior vice-president, mobile business at Samsung India told Reuters, adding that the company plans to open more such stores in some of Indiaâs top 10 cities.
âThese stores will really help us further consolidate our share as we move forward,â Singh said.
The new store will feature Samsung mobile devices but also showcase its consumer electronics products and latest innovations. It will also house a service centre for phones.
Samsung has spent âhugeâ money to lease out the property, Singh said, declining to give specifics.
Samsung, which runs 2,100 stores in India through franchise partners, is facing off against a host of Chinese brands led by Xiaomi.
It has pulled pages from their playbooks to become savvier with online marketing â launching devices aimed at millennials, seeking to reinvent itself as a âyounger brandâ and finding a new love for cricket with a sponsorship deal.
Samsung also wants to develop the centre as a meeting point for startups and venture capitalists, Singh added.
Apple sells its devices in India through reseller stores and online marketplaces and has a meagre market share of one per cent.