After announcing plans to open over 200 Mi Home Stores in China this year, tech giant Xiaomi sent out press invites earlier today for the launch of its first such store in India. The first Mi Home Store in the country will be opened in the city of Bengaluru, Karnataka, and will be unveiled by the Managing Director of Xiaomi India, Mr. Manu Jain, who was also recently appointed as the company’s Group Vice President following the resignation of the firm's former Vice President of Global Operations, Mr. Hugo Barra. Xiaomi already operates around 80 Mi Home Stores in China and opened its first Mi Home Store outside its home country last October in Singapore. The company has also unveiled similar stores in Hong Kong and Taiwan over the past few months.
While Xiaomi hasn’t said anything about what to expect from its first Mi Home Store in India, reports in the country’s online tech media seem to suggest that besides showcasing the company’s popular mobile accessories, the store will also feature some of the other popular devices from the company’s portfolio, like the Mi Purifier 2 and the Mi Band 2. While accessories like power banks and headphones will be readily available for purchase from the upcoming store, it isn't immediately clear whether the company will also sell its smartphones directly to customers from its all-new brick-and-mortar outlet. Xiaomi also hasn’t announced its plans to open Mi Home Stores in other cities around the country, but recent reports suggest that an expansion is planned for the near future.
India was the very first international market Xiaomi expanded into when it entered the country with the Mi 3, Redmi 1S, and the first-generation Redmi Note back in 2014. The country has already become Xiaomi’s second largest market after China, thanks largely to the remarkable success of the company’s budget phablets - the Redmi Note 3 and the Redmi Note 4. According to recent market reports, Xiaomi is currently the second-largest smartphone brand in the country after Samsung thanks to the sheer strength of its online sales. Xiaomi is also the best-selling smartphone brand in India in terms of online distribution, with an almost 30-percent share of the country’s online smartphone market. Given that the Indian smartphone market is still growing at a decent pace, it is not surprising that Xiaomi is planning to expand its operations in the country with the launch of its retail stores.