Xiaomi is planning to launch company-owned stores in India after the government relaxed rules pertaining to single-brand retail stores. The Chinese electronics brand has 23 Mi Home stores across seven cities in India, but they are owned by franchisees and managed by Xiaomi.

Xiaomi had a phenomenal 2017 in India where it dethroned Samsung to become the major smartphone brand towards the end of fourth quarter and IDC says its shipments tripled year-over-year. At the launch of Redmi Note 5 in Delhi yesterday, Xiaomi claimed to have sold over 9.6 million units of its Redmi Note 4 smartphone last year.

Xiaomi is the leading smartphone brand in the online segment, but it is expanding itself into offline retail channels as well. IDC estimates Xiaomi to have sold more than 2 million units through its offline channels last year. The offline sale is mainly driven by offline expansion of its Mi stores and preferred retail partners.

Xiaomi is estimated to have closed 2017 with sales surpassing $2 billion due to strong demand for its Redmi series. The company has also expanded its offering to include Mi TV in India, and is now planning to further extend its reach with self-owned ‘Mi Home’ retail stores across major towns and cities.

“Yes, the relaxation of norms means that we can open our own stores in India. This will happen soon, as the year progresses,” Manu Jain, MD of Xiaomi India, told ToI. Jain added that the company is evaluating and studying the prospects of opening self-owned retail stores. “It now makes sense as automatic approval has come in. We do not need to go through government approvals before doing so.” – TOI 

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