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Xiaomi to open 100 new stores, days after clashing with retailers

Xiaomi to open 100 new stores, days after clashing with retailers
Photo Credit: Reuters
16 Sep, 2021

Smartphone giant Xiaomi on Wednesday announced over 100 new retail stores in India. The company said that the new retail stores will be opened in Tier 5 and Tier 6 markets which have a population of less than 50 thousand people.  

The company claimed it will create employment for over 200 families in these cities. 

“Our aim with the initiative is to increase the availability of Xiaomi and Redmi products in Tier 5 and Tier 6 cities and provide a best-in-class experience in regions that have limited access. We are confident that our retail stores will take the budding entrepreneurs a step closer towards their dream and further generate employment in each pocket of the country,” said Muralikrishnan B, chief operating officer (COO) of Xiaomi. 

The company said it will open stores “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari” and add 12 new stores in the East, 26 in Western regions, 29 in the North and 33 in the South of the country. The company didn’t clarify whether all stores will be run by retail partners or whether Xiaomi will own some of them directly.  

The company has over 150 Mi Homes and Mi Studios in India, which it handles directly. It also has over 9400 Mi Preferred Partners and over 4000 Large Format Retail partners in India, with over 3000 Mi Stores. 

Recently, Xiaomi has also been at odds with retailers in the country. The All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), which represents offline retailers all over the country, had written to the company accusing it of anticompetitive behaviour. It threatened to go to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to complain that Xiaomi was treating online channels preferentially over retailers. 

“Sir, Xiaomi’s claims of the highest sales in the last two months has put us all in contemplation as to from which channel has such a huge sale been achieved. Whether it is done by exporters, aggregators or some other channel because Mi partners across India have got the least stock or no stock during that period,” said the letter, addressed to Sunil Baby, Xiaomi’s director of offline sales. 

The company refuted the accusations in a response to AIMRA, calling them “factually incorrect” and alleged an “attempt to defame” the Chinese brand.  

“Over the years, we have made substantial investments in our Retail channel and with the love and support of our Mi Fans and Partners has delivered stellar growth for all of us. As per GFK, our offline retail market share has increased by 5% absolute increase since the start of 2021, which could not have happened without improved supplies and endless support and trust by our partners in our brand,” said the letter from Xiaomi, which was reviewed by TechCircle.