Xiaomi is exploring ways to expand its presence in the offline market extensively over the coming years. The company's chief executive officer, Lei Jun, says that the prime focus is on digitalisation, but the offline presence cannot be ignored completely.
According to Shanghai Daily, Jun is aiming at opening 1,000 retail stores by 2020. The company currently has only 25 stores across China, where it offers its entire range of products including smartphones, televisions, water purifiers, electric cookers among others.
"We want consumers to touch and test our products with the core technologies in the stores. We have adapted our strategies," Jun was quoted as saying by Shanghai Daily. Although Jun did not mention whether its offline expansion will go beyond China, it is most likely that it will target its home turf.
But Xiaomi faces stiff competition from rivals in the offline segment in its home country. Huawei, for instance, has over 10,000 stores across China. Xiaomi's market share in China is declining and rivals like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have taken the lead.
The expansion of offline stores in China will likely boost Xiaomi's brand recognition and also serve a good purpose as it is planning to expand into new markets such as the United States. In India, the company has made itself a prominent name, but its offline presence is still bleak. Most of the Mi phones are sold through online channels such as Flipkart, Amazon and Mi.com.
Xiaomi's latest handset in India is Mi 5s, which comes with significant improvements over its predecessors and challenging features compared to its budget flagship rivals. The company's Redmi 3S and Redmi 3S Prime are doing fairly well in terms of sales, but they are still limited to online availability despite the end of flash sales strategy in the country.