Xiaomi wants to take Apple on in the retail space. To date, the company has largely focused on sale of its products via the web, however that is going to change in the next few years. How much is it going to change? Well, Xiaomi wants to open 1,000 stores by 2020.
According to the company, the reason for the shift is it thinks customers should have a place to “touch and test” its products before they buy them. It is not yet clear exactly where the stores will be located, however it is not unreasonable to assume that most of them — if not all of them — will be in China.
A report in Tech In Asia highlights that the effort to move into retail is an acknowledgment by Xiaomi that its name has become “a household name” in China, and that it is looking to capitalize and expand into the global market. It expects to have 60 Mi Home stores in place and running by the end of 2016.
The move will most certainly be expensive for Xiaomi, which has traditionally shown thin profit margins on its hardware. Still, while Xiaomi is a well-known name, that does not mean it stands up against the likes of Huawei, which is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and has a 11,000 retail stores in China, according to Engadget. Retail stores could help the company build up its presence and bring in some of those impulse buyers, as well as remind customers that Xiaomi is a name that is not going away anytime soon.
That is not to say that Xiaomi is struggling — the company achieved three million registrations for the Xiaomi Mi 5S and Mi 5S Plus.