Mi Stores, as they are known, the branded retail stores of Xiaomi which dot the length and breadth of India embarked on a new initiative in Mar. ‘21 to support ailing mobile retail stores through it’s partnership program titled “Grow with Mi”. Through this expansion route, the company replaced existing multi-brand mobile retail stores with it’s signage and product range, while also allowing the shop owners to sell other brands, but with limited or nil branding. The strategy seemed to have worked out well.
In the past 3 years, the company has opened 3,000 retail touch points across India spanning from it’s flagship store in Bangalore on 100 ft road all the way up to Tier 5/6 towns which have a population of less than 1 lakh people. “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,” Muralikrishnan B, Chief Operating Officer, Xiaomi India said in a statement.
The Chinese company, which grew extensively;u due to its online only exclusive Flash offers on a limited volume of pieces caught the attention of the young at heart, even as the company seem to have initiated the design and features of an Apple iPhone, which in most cases were at 1/5th price of the latter. However, the company has been caught in a bitter battle with hundreds of offline retailers since 2020 when it offered certain models only to e-commerce platforms such as amazon and Flipkart and thereby effectively denying the sales opportunity to the offline partners, in whose strength the brand has grown. the said move to support and protect the interests of the offline stores seem to be a measured approach to appease the Goliath who form a larger chunk of the consumer facing opportunity. Also, the service centres are usually run by the offline partners as well, so antagonising them in the long term could mean detrimental to the brand.