ZTE is planning to open 23 retail stores in China and Europe this year in a bid to increase smartphone sales and improve brand awareness. Hot off the launch of its new Axon 7 flagship, a report from Bloomberg suggests 20 of the stores will be based in China with an additional store in Mexico, Russia and Germany.
Last year, ZTE shipped 53 million units and the company hopes to increase this to 70 million this year. Last quarter, the company was ranked sixth with 3.4 percent of global smartphone shipments and it is hoping that replicating Apple’s retail store model to sell products, will be the catalyst for the improvements. Of course, continuing to release products like the Axon 7 will certainly help the company’s aims.
ZTE launched the Axon 7 a couple of days ago in China and it brings with it a flagship specs list at a lower price than the competition, which include the Galaxy S7, LG G5 and HTC 10. Despite a specs list that includes a Quad HD display, the latest Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, the Axon 7 is expected to debut for no more than $500, making it significantly cheaper than the competition.
Adam Zeng, Chief Executive Officer of ZTE’s Mobile devices, told Bloomberg: “The stores will help us lift brand awareness while spurring sales in the areas we value the most.”
ZTE has no plans to launch a retail store in the US or other European countries at the moment but a successful launch of its new stores could see the company launch further stores in other markets around the world. The Axon 7 itself is launching in the US next month and could help raise awareness of ZTE ahead of any brick-and-mortar plans stateside.