Xiaomi stores close in France: behind the scenes of a fiasco | TechBuzz

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6 of the 7 Xiaomi stores still in operation in France have suddenly closed. It was an activity under franchise, but the manager was placed under receivership. Explanations.

When it arrived in France in 2018, the Chinese brand Xiaomi was very ambitious. New entrants generally start small, by teaming up with well-established resellers. Xiaomi had the nerve to open physical stores from its first day on French territory, when no one knew it. It was in Paris, boulevard de Sébastopol, that the first Mi Store was born, before being followed by several establishments (some even had time to close). A strategy identical to that of other European countries, which have also seen Xiaomi arrive from nowhere, with stores in the main streets.

Xiaomi has always considered its strategy a masterstroke, which immediately placed it on a level with Apple from the point of view of visibility (its stores were, moreover, modeled on those of the Californian). However, there is an important difference between Apple Stores and Mi Stores: the former belong to Apple, the others are franchises and do not commit Xiaomi to anything. As our colleagues from Phonandroid have noticed, 6 of the 7 stores still in operation in 2022 have just closed suddenly. We spoke with several employees, all awaiting redundancy.

XIaomi fermeture
The mysterious message posted to store accounts on the day of the closure. // Source: Instagram

Two managers, one receivership

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What happened ? Unfortunately, our information on the subject remains incomplete, the fault of telephone numbers which ring in the void or of people who do not wish to express themselves on the subject. However, we are slowly beginning to understand what happened.

In 2018, Xiaomi partnered with iHealth Labs Europe. The proof: all emails or receipts published by Mi Store boutiques were signed by the company, which presented itself as the “Official Partner of Xiaomi France for Mi Stores”. iHealth Labs Europe had also allowed itself a few freedoms that Xiaomi did not like, such as offering cashback against paid subscriptions or selling some of its own products in Mi Stores. The ties between the two companies have never been very strong, which gradually led to a divorce in January 2021.

Tell Me Xiaomi
Since February 2021, Tell Me signs the communication of Xiaomi Store. // Source: Numerama screenshot

What happened at that time is quite complicated to explain. If we have understood correctly, iHealth Labs Europe has kept only one store: that of the Champs-Elysées (the one that does not close). The rest of his business was sold to Tell Me, a new company created for the occasion. From February 2021, Tell Me started signing the store newsletter. We haven’t managed to get in touch with its managers, but several sources tell us that it was founded by former Mi Store employees, who didn’t want to see their stores sink because of iHealth. This young shoot has therefore taken over the activity of the Xiaomi Store in France, still under franchise.

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A year and a half later, in July 2022, Tell Me was placed in receivership. In its judgment, the company explains that it is in dispute with iHealth, which is claiming money from it (and which should have paid rent). One would have thought that Xiaomi France, which is posting good results in France, would resume the activity, but no buyer has come forward. As a result, Tell Me suddenly closed six of its seven stores, and placed the employees concerned on economic layoff.

The end of Xiaomi stores?

This is not the first time that a Xiaomi store has closed in France, which confirms that the franchise model for a high-tech brand is not easy to set up. In Opéra (Paris), another company that iHealth also tried out at the Mi Store, before giving up. We had been told of the existence of tensions around the existence of this competing store, without knowing their nature.

Is Xiaomi’s physical model doomed to disappear? Not necessarily, because shops can always be taken over. We are particularly surprised by this announcement in the sense that, at the beginning of the summer, the shop in Sébastopol had been completely renovated. It seems that everything happened very quickly, and even the employees did not expect this fate.

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Contacted, Xiaomi France explains to us that it has “ taken note of the decision of the Court of Justice of Créteil, placing the company Tell Me, manager of the Xiaomi Store in France, in compulsory liquidation, Xiaomi is working to quickly resume normal activities “. It remains to be seen what Xiaomi calls “normal activities”and if the shops will ever reopen.





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I am admin of techbuzz.asia blog & I provide tech-related news. As a part of my hobby, I make content related to technology and gadgets reviews too. I love to be a content creator apart from it, I am a full-time employee in an MNC company and manage blogs systematically. You can mail me at [email protected]a

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