Xiaomi has closed its one and only Mi retail store in the UK. Confirmed by Android Authority, the store in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush is permanently closed.
Xiaomi told Android Authority:
“This adjustment to our local retail strategy is a reaction to our fast growing business in Western Europe. Since our official arrival in the UK over one year ago, we have loved building relationships with our users, Mi Fans and partners and thank them all for their support. UK users and Mi Fans can continue to purchase Xiaomi products through our official website mi.com/uk and other official channels that will be announced along with our product launches in the future.”
Westfield’s website also shows the Mi Store as closed. It had been open since November 2018.
The store’s Twitter page has also been deleted.
The statement does not give a clear reason for the store’s closure, but reading between the lines suggests Xiaomi is not that popular with high street shoppers in the UK. It looks as though Xiaomi would rather invest in retail stores in other Western European countries where it is a more popular brand.
Mi Stores sell Xiaomi’s Mi phones, but they also stock a whole host of Mi-branded items like umbrellas, bags, scooters and more. Xiaomi licensed its Mi brand to other companies who manufacture the goods that Xiaomi then sells on.
It means that if you want a Xiaomi phone or product in the UK you’ll have to buy it online – not that one London store was convenient for most of the country anyway. It shows how hard it is for phone companies to exist on the UK high street without having operator partnerships to sell devices on contract.