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Xiaomi eyes 10K retail stores in India, 50% biz from offline route

Thursday, April 25, 2019

New Delhi: Chinese tech major Xiaomi Wednesday said it expects to have 10,000 retail stores in India and 50 per cent of its business to come from the offline route by the end of this year.

Xiaomi, which had started its India journey as an online-only brand in 2014, is also launching a new retail format 'Mi Studio' in India as it competes head-on with rival Samsung.

"About two years ago, we realised that while we had a 50 per cent share in online sales, our offline presence was negligible. That's when we started our offline expansion," Xiaomi Vice-President and MD Manu Jain told reporters here.

The company now has well over 6,000 outlets across three formats - Mi Homes (experiential stores -75 in number), Mi Preferred Partners (retail stores) and Mi Stores (in smaller towns). "We aim to open over 10,000 retail stores across these four offline channels by end of year 2019. About 50 per cent of our smartphone sales is expected to come from the offline market by end of this year," Jain said.

As per research firm IDC, Xiaomi was ahead of rival Samsung with a 28.9 per cent share of the smartphone shipment volume in the December 2018 quarter. Samsung had 18.7 per cent share in the same quarter that saw a total shipment of 36.3 million units.

Samsung has a strong hold in the offline market. Xiaomi is hopeful of maintaining its lead in India, given its aggressive stance on offline expansion.

A few Mi Homes are owned by Xiaomi and franchise-operated but the rest are under the franchise-owned and operated model. Mi Studios will be following the latter route.

"Mi Studios aim to offer premium brand experience in 50 top cities...This format is an optimised version of Mi Homes replicating the same design and displaying modern minimalist interiors," Jain said.

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