Weeks after opening world's biggest smartphone manufacturing plant in Noida, Samsung today opened its largest mobile store in the world in Bengaluru. The South Korean tech giant is eyeing the pole position in the world's second-biggest smartphone market as it faces tough competition from Chinese brands like Xiaomi.
The store, roughly 33,000 square feet (3,000 square metre) in the southern city of Bengaluru will help it maintain its lead in India over global rival Apple Inc, which has yet to open any flagship stores in the country.
"India is an extremely important market," 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 India's top 10 cities.
"These stores ... will really help us further consolidate our share as we move forward," 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 "huge" money to lease out the property, Singh said, declining to give specifics.
Samsung also wants to develop the centre as a meeting point for startups and venture capitalists, Singh added.
Samsung, which runs 2,100 stores in India through franchise partners, is facing off against a host of Chinese brands led by Xiaomi. It currently manufactures over 60 million smartphones annually in India and with the new plant, it is expected to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile phones.
Last year in June, the consumer electronics major had announced that it would invest Rs 4,915 crore to double its manufacturing capacity for smartphones and refrigerators at its Noida plant.
Samsung has two manufacturing plants -- in Noida and in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu -- and five research and development centres in India.
Apple sells its devices in India through reseller stores and online marketplaces and has a meagre market share of one percent.