Chinese tech giant Xiaomi today announced its first offline retail store in India. Not surprisingly, it is in a mall in Bangalore.
Xiaomi’s offline stores, called Mi Homes, are designed to be experience centers for the curious to check out and buy Mi products available – much like the hugely popular Apple Stores.
Xiaomi is often teased for adopting Apple’s tactics. While the Apple Stores were Apple’s attempt at building relationships with its customers, Xiaomi had been doing that well before the company launched its smartphones in India. Through clever social media marketing as well as offline events with Xiaomi teams led by its India head Manu Jain and Hugo Barra – Xiaomi’s global vice president back then – Xiaomi built a large community of tech savvy fans in India.
It created a strong buzz around the brand and only after that did it launch its flash sales online in India. The first batch of around 5,000 Mi 3 smartphones, priced at INR 13,999 (about US$230) were sold out in 38 minutes. Xiaomi later partnered with top ecommerce stores in India like Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal as well as offline retailers like Airtel stores and The Mobile Stores to sell its devices.
Xiaomi’s first Mi Home in India at Phoenix Market City mall in Bangalore will be open to the public on May 20. People in Bangalore can pre-book Xiaomi smartphones by putting down INR 1,000 on the Mi India website from 5pm on May 16.
The Mi Home in Bangalore will have power banks, headphones, fitness bands, air purifiers, and other products launched in India, besides Mi smartphones.
Xiaomi has 70 Mi Home stores in Greater China so far. In India, the plan is to open 100 such stores in the next two years across metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai. Its success in India has propped up Xiaomi over the past year as its sales went southward in China.
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