To make further inroads in the Indian mobile market, the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei are said to be looking at the offline retail space. Both companies are reportedly looking at setting up exclusive retail outlets away from the metros.
Xiaomi is said to be looking at setting up “thousands of Mi Stores” in rural locations across India, ET reports. It plans to have 500 franchise-owned Mi Stores at taluk areas by the end of this year. This will not only extend the reach of Xiaomi’s smartphones, but will also help generate over 5,000 jobs in such areas. The Chinese company had recently revealed that it expects 50 percent of its smartphone sales to come via offline by early next year
Huawei is also looking at extending the reach of its Honor smartphones, which have largely been available online. As per the report, Huawei will be setting up 100 franchise-owned stores across India. This isn’t the first time reports about Huawei’s offline focus have surfaced online.
India’s smartphone currently is dominated by online sales, but companies have lately realized the potential of the untapped offline space. Companies like Xiaomi and Motorola, which debuted in India with an online-only strategy, are now shifting focus to the offline space. Another company to follow suit is OnePlus, which plans to open over 10 new offline touchpoints in 10 key markets.
Watch: A look at Moto Hub Store
Such renewed focus on the offline space will add pressure on Samsung, which has already been feeling the heat from the Chinese rivals. For the first time this year, it was overtaken by Xiaomi, which became the largest smartphone brand in India.