Smartphone majors — Samsung and Xiaomi — have finally reciprocated to more than 20,000 offline traders who have been demanding a fair trade practise across both online channels and physical stores. The top two smartphone brands are learnt to have assured traders that both the retailing channels will have an equitable share of business for their future product launches.
Market leader Xiaomi India’s director (offline sales operations) Sunil Baby has reportedly said the company will ensure forthcoming models are launched both online as well as offline at the same time, and with the same price as it believes half of its total sales will come from offline stores. Earlier, the firm had also said it is aggressively its offline presence as it plans to double the number of its retail stores from the present 10,000.
Separately, the handset maker also said on Tuesday that it sold more than one million devices in a single day in the offline market on 10 January 2020. Xiaomi devices include smartphones, Mi TVs, Mi Ecosystem and accessory products, of which smartphones were the biggest contributors. The company said that these devices were sold across Mi Home, Mi Studio, Mi Stores, Mi Preferred Partner channels besides leading retail chains. “Xiaomi started its dedicated offline expansion in Q1 of 2017 … the entire offline team and our supply chain management team has worked extremely hard for weeks to be able to achieve this milestone,” Baby further said.
Similarly, Samsung is also learnt to have said traders, “products will be launched simultaneously in GT (general trade), (at) the same time and same date”, assuring its upcoming Galaxy S10 Lite launch will be covered under the new strategy.
Interestingly, the communication from both the companies came a day after All India Mobile Retailers’ Association (AIMRA) had written to both companies stating if deep discounting continued in online channels, brick-and-mortar retailers could also “simply sell (the products) at online prices” and recover the shortfall from the brands.
Traders have also threatened to boycott the brands if there is no end to deep discounting and aligning with e-commerce players.
“When brands can control offline MOP (market operating price), it is only imperative and fair that they should control the deep discounting,” the letter read. Seeking a simultaneous offline launch of products at the same price as that of online, the letter said, “we feel the time has come for brands to take our issues seriously, else retailers will not fear to boycott the brands.”