Xiaomi’s Mi store will open in early November, and will represent the Chinese smartphone maker’s first official presence in the Kiwi market.
Xiaomi will launch its first Mi store at Auckland’s Sylvia Park, along with a New Zealand website. It will also appoint PB Tech as an authorised retail partner. The company says some products have been parallel imported into New Zealand over the last couple of years, but weren’t officially supported.
“With the official NZ launch, Kiwi consumers will now have access to a much broader range of Mi products all of which have been certified for use in NZ and come with the peace of mind of local support and warranty,” it says.
The Chinese company has successfully made the transition from a domestic supplier into a global company – in the first quarter of 2018, less than half of its shipments were domestic. Now the fourth-largest smartphone player behind Huawei, it’s focusing its retail expansion on India and Southeast Asia.
New Zealand spokesperson for the brand Eric Chang says a strong value proposition for consumers is behind the company’s rapid growth and says the arrival of the brand here will see significantly lower prices on a range of smart devices.
He says sales of Mi smartphones grew by 88 percent last year.
“Mi’s stellar performance in recent years is driven from a unique business model which can see some products are sold at cost or below, and subsidised with content offers and accessories as part of the wider Mi ecosystem. This means they can leverage scale to take advantage of reduced prices for key components and sell hardware with specifications comparable to high end devices at a fraction of the cost.
“What this will mean for Kiwi consumers is the ability to purchase a Mi mobile phone like the Redmi Note 5 which has similar specifications to a $1400 competing model on the market already - but selling for around 70 percent less,” he says.
As well as smartphones, Xiaomi’s flagship products include electric scooters, robotic vacuum cleaners, wearable tech, home automation, appliance and lifestyle products such as sunglasses, razors and other homewares.