Xiaomi has become a big deal in their home market of China since they first launched, spurring online sales in China like no other. For the last couple of years however, expansion outside of China has been on their mind, and while they've steadily branched out into newer markets in South East Asia, India has been their big success story. 2015 saw the Chinese firm take the nation by storm, even offering specific versions of devices just for India with the Mi 4i. Now however, they're looking back to China to boost sales during 2016, and they're taking a different approach to the one you'd imagine.
The Chinese upstart has been in the news recently for missing their shipment targets for 2015 by as much as 12%, and now a source has been talking to Reuters with info on how they might turn things around for 2016. According to the source, Mi.com will continue to be the core business for the Chinese firm, but that they're looking to expand sales in brick-and-mortar stores, boosting the number of Mi Home outlets from 20 to 50. The idea is to potentially double these offline sales throughout 2016. Mi Home stores aren't just their only outlet for devices in China however, and they partner with the likes of Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd, GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd and Beijing Digital Telecom Co Ltd's D.Phone. Reuters has acquired information showing that Xiaomi wants to sell as many as 58 Million smartphones through these retailers. This compares to the 28 Million, or 40% of their overall sales, sold offline in store during 2015.
China is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts outside of the major cities. As these establish cities reach capacity, the smaller outlying towns and smaller cities are being destroyed with new cities being built by the government in their place. This could be why Xiaomi sees potential to sell more devices offline in these stores, as the country steadily modernizes outside of the bigger cities and the audience for these devices grow. Regardless, 2016 is just getting started for Xiaomi, and the launch of the Mi 5 is looming overhead, with high expectations. A shift to more of a retail experience could work hand-in-hand with a fresh device launch like this.