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OnePlus to expand offline footprint, to sell devices via Croma


KOLKATA: OnePlus, the country’s second-largest premium smartphone maker, will be expanding its offline presence in top eight cities of the country where it plans to set up authorised brand stores and also grow presence in the Tata-owned Croma chain of electronic stores, a senior company executive said.

Vikas Agarwal, OnePlus’ general manager for India, said the brand has decided to expand offline presence since the pilot with the Bengaluru experience store showed that growth rate was faster in the city since consumers can touch-and-feel the product. Till lately, OnePlus used to sell primarily through Amazon which it will continue.

The experience stores are built over 5,000 plus square feet of space, while the authorised brand stores will come up over 1,000-1,500 square feet. OnePlus will soon set up authorised brand stores in markets like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. It currently operates one such outlet in Mumbai. It is also looking for locations for experience stores in Delhi and Mumbai.

Agarwal said the OnePlus brand is now available in only 20 outlets of Croma but the company intends to launch them in over 100 outlets of the chain. He said the company is exploring similar partnership with other large format consumer electronics and cellphone retailers in the country who can provide good experience to the consumers.

OnePlus operates in the Rs 30,000-plus smartphone segment, which is growing at 30% annually and accounts for 3.5% of the country’s total smartphone market. Its main competitors are Apple and Samsung.

As per data from market trackers IDC and Counterpoint Research, OnePlus was the second largest brand in the premium segment after Apple in the October-December quarter, thereby becoming the largest premium Android smartphone maker in India. As per Counterpoint’s last quarter result, Apple had 47% share in the premium segment followed by OnePlus with 25% share and Samsung with 17.6% share. OnePlus overtook Samsung in the July-September quarter.

India is the largest market for OnePlus, having accounted for over 35% of its global sales of $1.4-billion in 2017, when its global sales had doubled. Agarwal refused to share financials details but said OnePlus will continue with its strategy of launching one flagship smartphone model a year.

Source: Economic Times