Chinese smartphone maker Realme has successfully completed one year since its launch. During this time, the company has seen a phenomenal growth via its online-only model. Realme also has its presence in the offline retail chain spread across 8,000 stores in 50 cities across India. Some retail chains have stopped or refused to sell Realme smartphones due to low margin offered. Yet, Realme is looking to partner retail chains to expand its presence further.
Realme offline retail chain expansion
In a conversation with ET, Realme CEO Madhav Sheth said that the company has inked a deal with Sangeetha Mobile, South’s leading mobile retail chain. At the moment, Realme’s offline sales account for 20 percent of the company’s revenue. Realme is looking to increase it further. It is also looking to expand offline retail to 150 cities and 20,000 outlets.
“We are discussing with all the big chains on margin, product placement and selling of accessories which we will launch in the second half. If there is consumer demand then retailers will be bound to keep the product. We want to generate more demand,” said Sheth.
Realme is owned by China’s BBK Group which also owns Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus. The company started as a subsidiary of Oppo, and was separated soon. In the January-March quarter, Realme also became the fifth largest smartphone maker in India. The company also saw third-largest sales in India after Xiaomi and Samsung.
Plans to open six exclusive stores
The company has also made filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) to setup a separate entity in India – Realme Mobile Telecommunications. It will set up stores in India using foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail. Realme also plans to open six exclusive stores in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
“Operationally it is much better to manage business if we have ownership of the online store, while we want to showcase the brand and products through our company-owned offline stores. The operation ease is in handling stocks which can remain in one warehouse and faster order fulfilment,” Sheth said.