Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, was selling its phone exclusively online in India and is now venturing into brick-and-mortar outlets.
The company has tied up with Redington, and expects 20-30 percent of its total sales to happen from such stores. "We will begin with select cities like Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore and later scale it pan-India,” said Xiaomi India Head Manu Jain.
Xiaomi, the second most valuable startup in the world, will sell Redmi 2, Mi 4, Mi 4i and Mi Pad models starting August. The company had launched its first device last year based an online-exclusive retail model with Flipkart in India, its largest market outside of China. In April this year, Xiaomi expanded distribution to Amazon and Snapdeal as its online partners and started selling on its own website as well.
Xiaomi also ventured into brick and mortar stores by partnering with retail chain The Mobile Store and private telecom operator Bharti Airtel to reach out to more consumers. “Offline has done well for us. But the focus will remain on online. In China, about 70 per cent of our sales come from online and the remaining is offline. In India too, we should see similar trends,” he said.
Following Motorola’s re-entry into the Indian market through Flipkart, many handset makers like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Coolpad Dazen have taken to the the online channel for selling phones in India.
While this was done to tackle supply constraints, industry experts say many of these handset makers are now expanding into physical retail as these issues are being ironed out. Also, e-commerce comprises a small component of the overall handset sales in India, where internet penetration is among the lowest in the world, and expanding into physical retail offers a wider market to tap into.