Xiaomi opens new Mi store in Dubai with Dh3m in­vest­ment

Smart­phone maker mak­ing a ma­jor push into old-fash­ioned re­tail with sec­ond out­let in the UAE

Gulf News - - Region -

Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy com­pany, Xiaomi, is fo­cus­ing on brick and mor­tar stores to boost its sales after suf­fer­ing set­backs at the hands of local com­peti­tors over the past two years.

The firm was the top seller in China in 2014 and 2015 but lost ground to Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Ap­ple last year.

This year, the com­pany has moved back into the top five rank­ing world­wide in the third quar­ter shipments with the strong­est gain, dou­bling its sales to 27.6 mil­lion units, driven mainly by suc­cess in In­dia, ac­cord­ing to re­search firm In­ter­na­tional Data Cor­po­ra­tion.

Ma­jor push

The Chi­nese smart­phone maker, that was once the most valu­able start-up in the world, is mak­ing a ma­jor push into old-fash­ioned re­tail by open­ing its sec­ond Mi (the ab­bre­vi­a­tion and the logo of Xiaomi Inc.) Home store in Dubai at Deira City Cen­tre in part­ner­ship with its re­gional dis­trib­u­tor, Task.

The com­pany opened the first Mid­dle East out­let at BurJu­man Cen­tre, Dubai, in Au­gust this year with an in­vest­ment of more than Dh2 mil­lion.

Ravi Matthew, deputy CEO and Gen­eral Man­ager of Task, told Gulf News that they will be open­ing three more stores next year — one at Shar­jah City Cen­tre by Fe­bru­ary, one at Dubai Mall by April and one in Abu Dhabi.

He said the com­pany has in­vested more than Dh3 mil­lion on the 350-square-me­tre out­let at Deira City Cen­tre.

“The store is not meant to gen­er­ate sales from the store. It is part of the brand-build­ing ex­er­cise. Many con­nect Xiaomi with only mo­bile phones so we are show­cas­ing the en­tire line-up of Xiaomi prod­ucts,” he said.

Sales up

He said that sales have in­creased 60 per cent year on year in the UAE as the brand is be­ing recog­nised by the young and tech-savvy peo­ple.

“The mar­ket is look­ing high tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts at an af­ford­able price point and there is where Xiaomi comes in,” he said.

The Chi­nese com­pany plans to build 1,000 “Mi Home” stores glob­ally by 2019 and aims to ship 100 mil­lion smart­phones next year. Now, it has more than 200 stores.

While the com­pany is best known for phones, it has in­vested in 77 start-ups and now of­fers air pu­ri­fiers, drones, TVs, speakers, TV set-top boxes, elec­tric cy­cles, ro­bots and ro­bot vac­uum clean­ers.

Matthew said that off­line sales will be quite sig­nif­i­cant for the com­pany.

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