Xiaomi is taking strides to cement its hold on the world’s second-largest smartphone market — by going the traditional retail outlet route.
By the end of 2019, the company expects 50% of its sales in India to come from a network of 10,000 brick-and-mortar shops, up from the 6,000 stores it currently has, the Economic Times reports.
India’s smartphone market grew 14.5% in 2018, with 142.3 million units sold, while smartphone shipments in China were down 9.7% in Q4 2018, with Xiaomi’s year-on-year growth plunging almost 35%.
Broadening its offline footprint would also help Xiaomi reach more customers in a country where many have yet to come online.
In December 2018, an estimated 566 million—or 40% of the India’s roughly 1.4 billion population—were internet users, and this number is expected to reach 627 million this year.
Xiaomi entered India ‘e-commerce-first’ in 2014, investing an initial USD 500 million (RMB 3.34 trillion) over 2015 and 2016 to get its brand known in the market, but investing less in physical retail outlets. In January and March this year, Xiaomi made two more investments totaling USD 500 million into its Indian business.
The company led the Indian market with a 28.9% share of smartphone sales in Q4 2018, with second-placed Samsung holding an 18.7% market share.