Huawei retail plans 15,000 new stores

Smartphone maker Huawei plans to open 15,000 retail stores internationally this year in a bid for a record-high shipment of smartphones and greater sales of premium-priced models.

“We are optimistic and confident about reaching our target shipment of 140 million smartphones this year,” says its business group CEO Richard Yu Chengdong. That would mark a 30 per cent increase in smartphone shipments from 108 million units last year.

Yu says the Huawei retail store expansion would help drive sales of its high-end smartphones in the US$500 to US$600 range.

Huawei’s retail arm had 35,000 of its own stores around the world at the end of May, up 116 per cent year on year. It has 11,000 stores in mainland China, 6500 stores across the rest of Asia, 6200 in Europe and 1500 in South America. This compares with Apple’s 484 retail outlets in fewer than 20 countries.

Huawai  is represented in more than 170 countries and territories, supported by a growing number of third-party shops. These include outlets in shopping malls and stores owned by mobile network operators like China Mobile.

Its smartphone shipments grew 25 per cent year on year to 60.56 million units in the first six months of this year. Sales generated by the company’s consumer business group in the first half jumped 41 per cent to 77.4 billion yuan (US$11.6 billion), with more than half from overseas markets.

Data from market research firm GFK shows that Huawei’s share of the global smartphone market reached 11.4 per cent at the end of May. Its share of the premium smartphone market was 25.7 per cent, up from 15.2 per cent at the end of March.

The Shenzhen-based firm, which also sells network equipment to telecommunications service providers and other enterprises, reported this week that its total revenue in the first half of this year jumped 40 per cent to 245.5 billion yuan, up from 175.9 billion yuan for the same period last year.

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