In a “Numerama” investigation, several former Xiaomi Store employees point the finger at the responsibility of the Chinese brand that would have done nothing to save the furniture.
Almost all Xiaomi stores in France have closed. The announcement obviously caused a stir. However, it should be understood that Xiaomi’s activities in France are going well, but the Tell Me company, the third-party service provider responsible for managing the physical stores, has been subject to suspension of payments.
Result: the Xiaomi Stores abruptly closed their doors, with the exception of the one open on the Champs-Élysées, because it is not managed by Tell Me. In response, Xiaomi was content to indicate that she had ” taken note of the decision of the Court of Justice of Créteil placing the company Tell Me, administrator of the Xiaomi Store in France, in forced liquidation“. The firm then added search “ quickly resume normal activities“.
Xiaomi’s responsibility questioned
Through your words, we feel that Xiaomi is distancing itself from this matter. However, the responsibility of the Chinese brand is pointed out by former employees of the store who testify to numerama . Some believe that this press release gives a distorted interpretation of the facts. ” It’s not reality and it’s not fair to tell me, they did everything to save our business.“explains one of the interviewees.
This recently fired seller points to inaction on the part of the Chinese brand. “It was Xiaomi France that did not want to help the stores, they did not put a penny in the stores. “. The witnesses, who speak on condition of anonymity, evoke a feeling of abandonment. Xiaomi is, in fact, accused of laxity, at best, or directly, at worst, of having put a spoke in the wheels. of physical stores.
a complicated story
You should know that in the beginning, the stores in France were governed by another entity, iHealth Labs. It is a manufacturer of connected scales and thermometers. Therefore, this company does not a priori, no legitimacy to recover a distribution activity. It would seem that this choice of partner was part of more global agreements between Xiaomi and iHealth.
However, the people who testified numeramaWe are sorry for the mismanagement of iHealth. They also explain that as of 2019, this company would have been very marked by the demonstrations of the yellow vests, apart from which Xiaomi Store windows had been broken and products stolen.
At the end of 2020, the management of iHealth, really discouraged by these events (in addition to the pandemic), would have already decided to close the stores, except for the one on the Champs-Élysées, which enjoys good visibility. Two former iHealth then decided to create Tell Me to resume activities and save the teams that work in stores.
The Xiaomi Store competed with the Xiaomi site
However, from the beginning of the project, it was clear that Tell Me would not achieve anything without finding a partner and funding. And this is where the people who testify question the responsibility of Xiaomi which, according to some sources, has always known that“without outside support, he was dead”. And the brand would never have given him this much-desired help.
Even worse, its commercial website (mi.com) would have competed with the Xiaomi Store on various products (excluding smartphones) with attractive promotions while prices were frozen in physical stores.numeramaspecifies that Xiaomi France teams are not really the subject of criticism. Rather, the accusations are directed at the headquarters in China.
Xiaomi should continue to have stores in France
contacted bynumeramaXiaomi clearly suggests that it intends to continue to rely on physical stores to support its presence in France: “we are evaluating all possibilities for the future, including potential new physical outlets“. However, the group highlights the independence of retail stores that “sell officially authorized Xiaomi products“.
These last “therefore, they are owned and operated by third parties, who are [seules] responsible for its operations and finances“. The French subsidiary does not provide more data on the potential influence of the headquarters in China in its decisions.
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