OnePlus Plans to Expand Retail Presence in India With New Offline Stores and Partnership with Croma

OnePlus, owned by BBK Electronics, is putting plans in place for opening ten offline stores in India. The Chinese manufacturer started its operation in the country in December 2014 and has been selling its smartphone through its exclusive partnership with Amazon until now, and some models were sold via Croma as well. Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India said the following regarding the strategic decision when asked by IANS: “We will continue to focus on these two portals as our primary sales channels, but, going forward, we will be going offline in the top 10 cities where we are looking forward to opening our own stores.”

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Agrawal also highlighted that they were not going to focus on the conventional brick and mortar store model and planned to do things differently. He said “We are not going through a traditional offline channel. We will be opening our own stores and focusing on providing an experience which should help us increase awareness in those cities.”

However, OnePlus has already opened one ‘experience store’ in Bengaluru last year. The company plans to extend the same idea to other metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai by the end of this year.

With its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 5T the Chinese manufacturer managed to capture 47.3% of the total market share of premium smartphones. Also, OnePlus successfully managed to ship a whopping number of 287,000 devices in the fourth quarter of 2017 as reported by Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Agrawal also added that they will pay equal attention to stocking OnePlus phones in the Croma retail stores, giving us a hint that OnePlus gained significant momentum last year through the e-retailer Croma. Expanding on the same, the executive said the following “We recently partnered with Croma and are present in over 20 Croma stores. This year, we are going to expand our presence in the entire 100 stores that Croma has across different cities.”

The company executive also put emphasis on the importance of ‘OnePlus community’ which he said has contributed a lot to the high quality of the OnePlus phones. He said that since the beginning, starting with the launch of OnePlus One, the early users have cooperated with the brand by providing them with vital input which has helped the developing team significantly in making needed changes to the device and according to Agrawal this practice has helped them develop devices which deliver impeccable performance.

It is apparent that with high manufacturing quality and a mass of loyal followers of the brand, OnePlus has made its mark in the smartphone market of India and all over the world. Agarwal also added the following relating to the exponential growth of the company. “This year, we are expecting OnePlus to continue to grow at a faster pace than the industry and the premium market. We expect OnePlus to outperform the market,”

On further questioning, the company executive revealed that OnePlus believed the next trend in the smartphone market would come with enterprise-grade security and also highlighted that OnePlus has already started working for the same. He added that the company was trying to develop a ‘files safety’ feature which according to him would gain a lot of traction in coming times. Also, the developer team is working on a ‘LockBox’ feature for the OnePlus phones which will secure the files, thus not allowing anyone to access them unless they obtain permission from the owner of the device.

With the growing sales of OnePlus devices in the country, the less number of service centres of the company has been an issue of concern for the customers as well as the executives of OnePlus. Agrawal also had some interesting insights to share related to the same. He said the following about opening more service centres in the country. “We currently have ten service centres operational, and we are looking to open more this year.”

Offline presence will also help OnePlus grow its market share and will give an edge over other players such as Xiaomi, Nokia and Honor. The three brands, last year launched affordable flagship phones to compete with OnePlus and the same is expected to happen in 2018 as well.

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