Huawei plans 40,000 new stores in two years
Chinese phone maker Huawei plans to more than double its global store network from 30,000 to 70,000 by 2017.
Huawei sees building its retail network is the key to selling more mid-range and high-end smartphones, taking on Apple and Samsung headon.
More than half its current retail outlets are in China, which means the brand so far has only a modest presence and brand awareness internationally.
By definition, Huawei’s stores will range from stand alone outlets to concessions and “display zones” where its phones were demonstrated for sale.
Glory Zhang, chief marketing officer for Huawei’s consumer business group, says the company plans to launch more ‘high-end’ smartphones in international markets by the end of this year.
Huawei is in the midst of a rapid growth phase. In 2013 it shipped 52 million smartphones, a figure dwarfed last year by 75 million, which made it the world’s third largest phone manufacturer. It is on track to ship well over 100,000 handsets in 2015.
Within its own product range, high end units comprised just five per cent of its sales last year, but in the first quarter of 2015, they accounted for 34 per cent of sales.
Its newest showcase model is the P8, with a sleek metal body, (pictured above).
Besides its retail network ambitions, Huawei has also revealed it plans to create a global service center network with urban customers no more than five kilometres from a repair shop.
Zhang is confident about the brand’s international ambitions.
“We’ve done this for a long time. We feel deeply that it’s easy to make a phone, but hard to make a good one.”