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Xiaomi sees big future in bricks-and-mortar outlets

By Xu Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-07 07:17

Xiaomi sees big future in bricks-and-mortar outlets

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi Corp, talks about his company's retail plan at a conference in Beijing on March 6, 2017. [Photo/China Daily]

Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp will continue its offline expansion, and is confident about replicating the success of its web sales at its self-owned bricks-and-mortar retail stores.

The tech company opened 51 stores across the country in the past year and plans to increase the number to 250 by the end of this year, and to 1,000 in three years.

Lei Jun, Xiaomi's founder and CEO, revealed the business plan on Monday at a news conference in Beijing, claiming that Xiaomi has found a "feasible and highly efficient" format for "New Retail".

New Retail is not simply combining online and offline channels. Its key is to increase the efficiency of circulation like e-commerce does, to draw consumers back to offline stores," Lei said.

Despite the high rents and rising labor cost, the prices of commodities sold in bricks-and-mortar stores can still be cut to the bone by measures such as optimizing the manufacturing process and analyzing customers' needs with big data, he said.

New Retail has become a buzzword after it was raised by Jack Ma, founder and chairman of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, during a conference in Hangzhou in October.

Ma claimed that the era of e-commerce would end in 10 or 20 years to give way to New Retail that combines online and offline sales and logistics services.

Alibaba spent more than 2 billion yuan ($290 million) buying about one-third of Sanjiang shopping, a supermarket chain based in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

"While Alibaba chooses to purchase or invest in retail stores, we choose opening self-owned stores. But I don't see a big difference in our understanding about New Retail," Lei said.

As a deputy from Guangdong province to the National People's Congress, Lei proposed to the ongoing fifth session of the 12th NPC that the government simplify the approval procedures on the opening of retail stores and offer tax reductions to store owners.

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