Xiaomi plans to open 1000 retail outlets over the next four years
For a startup that only sold its first smartphone back in 2011, Xiaomi hasn't done all that badly. While its primary focus has been China and the Asian market, the company has been making its moves towards a more global audience. With much of its growth having been generated through web sales hitherto, the firm intends to offer consumers a more hands-on experience, with plans for 1000 brick-and-mortar retail outlets by 2020.
Despite skyrocketing to dizzying heights during its early days, stiff recent competition from local rivals like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo has taken some of the wind out of Xiaomi's sails sales. As the company's fabled U.S. and European smartphone launches remain the stuff of legend, CEO Lei Jun's new promise of 1000 retail stores over the next few years suggests he and his firm are ready to take the fight to the competition.
With no indication of where these stores will be based, it's reasonable to assume that the vast majority will be located in and around China. But we've seen just this week that Xiaomi can produce top-spec smartphones akin to your favorite handset for less money. We've also seen how many people are interested in buying said devices. Needless to say, if Xiaomi can continue to expand its brand and keep churning out flagship-level phones for 300 bucks, consumers may soon turn their attention away from those costing double.
Xiaomi's delve into Europe and the United States market has barely stretched beyond accessories thus far. A set-top could also be on the cards for Stateside audiences later this year, but there's still no sign of that elusive first smartphone. Vice President Hugo Barra has stressed on numerous occasions that the firm will eventually crack the U.S. market which, incidentally, Apple co-founder Wozniak believes Xiaomi is capable of.
If a Xiaomi retail outlet popped up near you tomorrow, would you swing by and give the Mi 5s Plus a test drive? Let you know what you think of the company's ambitious plans in the comments below.