Long before OnePlus was frustrating would-be customers with their infamous invite system, Chinese OEM Xiaomi was pioneering online-only logistics, using flash sales spread through social media to keep demand for their products high while managing a relatively low inventory of hardware.
But did you know that they actually have a brick-and-mortar store? I don’t mean the fake shops that are popping up in mainland China, but a legit retail presence in partnership with Hong Kong carrier CSL. It was announced by no less than Hugo Barra on Google+ last August, and I managed to find it when I was in town a few weeks ago!
And here it is!
You can see the official CSL press release here, and the store listing on the Telford Plaza site here. It was a bit tricky to find as there is a “telecom alley” on the outside perimeter of the mall where another CSL shop resides; the staff there were kind enough to direct me to the proper spot.
In addition to the Christmas tree of Redmi Note 4Gs seen at the top of this post, the store was adorned with MITU (the Mi rabbit) plush dolls, scale models and such. Sadly, none of it was for sale—though die-hard Mi fans can order some of this stuff from Xiaomishop.com, an unofficial retailer based in Shenzhen, China. Some, but not all…
What I could—and did—buy from this official outlet was the legendary $11 power bank. The price has since gone up ever so slightly to $89HKD, the equivalent of $13.75 CAD or $11.50 USD. But a bargain is a bargain, and I ended up bringing home three of them!