The country’s largest smartphone maker Xiaomi plans to significantly expand its offline retail footprint this year to expand sales, including for television.
The company plans to expand its various retail formats in the country. As per plans, the number of large format exclusive flagship stores under Mi Home this year is expected to touch 100, while it wants to open 5,000 smaller size Mi Stores in rural India. The company also wants to significantly expand its presence in multi-brand stores through the Mi preferred partner programme, a company spokesperson said.
At present, Xiaomi has over 50 Mi Home stores and 500 Mi Stores. It also has more than 4,000 preferred partner stores across 50-plus markets.
“2019 will also witness more ambitious retail expansion of our offline channel to extend support for newer categories such as Mi LED TVs. In smartphones, Xiaomi is the second largest brand in the offline market with nearly 18% market share as of January GFK smartphone tracker,” the spokesperson said.
Xiaomi's arch rival Samsung leads the offline smartphone sales, while it is the second largest smartphone maker in the overall Indian market.
The person said Xiaomi has grown 40 time in offline sales in last two years when it first forayed into this channel in India and offline now contributes to over 30% of smartphone sales.
“Xiaomi has an extremely lean offline model, and we continue to spend minimal dollars on marketing and operational costs which include running interesting promotional schemes. However, with the scale of offline sales becoming bigger, investments in offline will accordingly grow,” the company said.
ET earlier reported that Xiaomi has rejigged its offline sales leadership team in India with erstwhile South business head and chief of Mi Store Sunil Baby now the chief of offline sales. Erstwhile sales head Deepak Nakra has been made the chief of the offline consumer electronics business.
The company spokesperson said in 2018 Xiaomi saw its entire business model shaping up in India across hardware, internet services and retail business. “This year, we hope to further build on all three dimensions, and bring in stronger product offerings and evaluate newer categories across hardware and internet services,” the person said.