08/06/2016 10:33 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

LeEco To Start Selling Phones In Offline Stores

Tony Avelar/Invision/AP
LeEco Office Grand Opening Ceremony at LeEco Headquarters on Thursday, April 28, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (Photo by Tony Avelar/Invision for LeEco/AP Images)

Chinese smartphone maker LeEco has begun selling its smartphones in offline stores in India. The company first made its presence felt in India when they launched two new phones, Le 1S and Le Max, in January.

Le 1S became one of the highest selling phones in a flash sale, with LeEco claiming that they sold 220,000 units of the phone in February alone. Now, the company is doing away with its exclusive sales tie-up with the online retailer Flipkart and will start selling their phones in offline stores.

LeEco phones will initially be available in stores in metros such as New Delhi and Mumbai, and then gradually be rolled out to the other cities. The company aims to sell 70 percent of their mobile phones through offline channels.

"We have fast-tracked our growth trajectory in India and our entry into the physical retail space affirms it. Since our India launch, we're thrilled to have seen an incredible response from users and this landmark announcement is a step ahead in making our Superphones more accessible to our users. In the near future, we also plan to have our own wholly owned retail stores across the country," said Atul Jain, COO of LeEco India.

It is not unusual to see phone companies moving towards the offline model. In fact, some manufacturers such as Vivo, Infocus and Oppo have focused largely on offline sales. The strategy has worked in a country like India where cash and credit cards are the most used modes of the payment. Moreover, a lot of people have access to the Internet only through mobile phones and as a result their online shopping experience is often unsatisfactory.

LeEco has made it clear that India is near the top on their list of priority markets. After launching the first two phones, they recently launched Le 1s (Eco) at Rs 9999 with a premium membership program that includes an exclusive content of movies, music, live concerts from Hungama, Yupp TV, and Eros Now. The company says it will be delivering more content to its Indian smartphone users soon.