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LeEco India ready to roll out 1000 stores

Chinese tech firm LeEco India plans to open 1000 outlets across the subcontinent by the end of this year.

Expecting half of its revenue in India to come from physical stores, LeEco filed an application five months ago with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to open single-brand retail stores.

These will be a mix of company-owned stores as well as franchise outlets, says LeEco India COO for smart electronics business Atul Jain. “This is in line with our aim to be among top three brands in the country by 2018.”

LeEco, which also has an offline presence in China, has not revealed the cost of setting up the stores. However, it will be spending nearly US$10 million on marketing in the three months starting October.

Already the company has tied up with multiple distributors across organised and unorganised channels in India and is already available in about 3000 outlets in cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Varanasi. It expects to reach 65 cities and have a presence in 6000 to 8000 outlets by December.

No longer exclusive

Launched exclusively on Flipkart, LeEco’s products will now be available on other eCommerce marketplaces such as Amazon India and Snapdeal. Flipkart has contributed nearly 75 per cent of LeEco’s sales in India.

LeEco has invested Rs.50 crore (US$500 million) in setting up a smartphone assembly plant in the Greater Noida area, in partnership with Compal Electronics. The factory has an initial capacity of 60,000 units a month but this will be ramped up to 200,000 by the end of December.

By the second half of next year, the company plans to start exporting products to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and Singapore, says Jain. LeEco sold more than 70,000 phones and 2000 televisions last month alone.

Other plans include a partnership with Hungama to offer music services from next month.
Founded by billionaire Jia Yueting in 2004, LeEco positions itself as the Apple, Netflix and Tesla of China. Apart from smartphones and online content, the company sells TVs, electric vehicles and virtual-reality headsets.

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