Xiaomi Opens Record 500 Mi Retail Stores in Rural India

Mukul Yudhveer Singh

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The China based brand is also inviting applications from people interested in opening Mi store franchises in India

Credit – Mi Twitter handle

China based Electronics brand Xiaomi has announced the opening of 500 retail stores in rural parts of India. The company claims that it made a Guinness Record of opening the maximum number of stores in a single day.

Manu Kumar Jain, vice president, Xiaomi Global, and MD, Xiaomi India, said, “The company created a Guinness record for opening the maximum number of stores in one single day. Xiaomi plans to open 5,000 Mi Stores by the end of 2019 that will create nearly 15,000 jobs.”

A tweet made by the official Mi Twitter handle also claimed that the company plans to open 5000 Mi Stores by the end of 2019. The step to open 500 stores is being seen as a bold one especially for a company that started with online-only strategy.

Focus on rural consumer market in rural India

The opening of 500 stores in a single day clearly highlights the importance of consumer market in rural India. Factors such as electrification, government’s pro rural policies and increased use of technology in villages will further drive appliances and consumer electronics sales in the country.

Indian consumer durable industry analysis published by the India Brand Equity Foundation (Ibef) had earlier pointed out that electronic appliances consumption in rural areas is expected to grow as penetration of brands increases. The analysis posted on the IBEF website said, “Overall consumer durable exports reached US$ 0.78 billion in 2017. Also demand for durable like refrigerators as well as consumer electronic goods are likely to witness growing demand in the coming years in the rural markets as the government plans to invest significantly in rural electrification. The S&P BSE Consumer Durables Index has grown at 20 per cent CAGR in 2010-17.”

Xiaomi India also posted on Twitter that it is inviting applications from people and businesses interested in opening Mi franchise stores. A tweet made by Sunil Baby claimed the total number of Mi franchise stores to be 525 spread across 14 states, 207 districts and 471 villages.

Presence in online as well as offline space

Xiaomi, with opening of these 500 stores will now be present in offline space as well. The company in September had also stated its desire of opening 100 Mi Home stores in 2018 itself. The move will also enable Xiaomi to interact directly with rural consumers. It is to be noted here that e-commerce giants do not usually deliver appliances and consumer electronics to the rural market.

The newly opened Mi stores will serve consumers in the rural market and help Xiaomi is strengthening its foothold in the country. This is also the first time that a electronics brand has opened its retail stores across so many locations in rural India.

Q3 shipments show that the company was also able to retain its lead in the Indian market. Xiaomi had reported a 49.1 per cent increase in revenue for third quarter of 2018. The net profit, as claimed by the company had reached $ 357.23 million during the quarter.

Jain in another tweet explained that the inspiration to open Mi Stores in rural India came from a amazing couple he had met in a village near Bangalore an year ago.

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