ZTE Plans to Open 23 Flagship Stores to Drive Smartphone Sales

ZTE Corp., China’s second-largest maker of networking gear, plans to open 23 flagship stores by the end of this year to drive sales of its smartphones and consumer devices.

About 20 outlets will be created in major Chinese cities while the company plans one each on Germany, Russia and Mexico, said Adam Zeng, chief executive officer of ZTE’s mobile devices business.

ZTE is taking a leaf out of the strategy of Apple Inc., which uses its iconic stores in prime locations around the world to drive sales of iPhones, iPads and Macbook computers. The Shenzhen-based company is targeting sales of 70 million smartphones this year, up from 56 million in 2015.

“The stores will help us lift brand awareness while spurring sales in the areas we value the most,” Zeng said.

ZTE was the sixth-largest smartphone vendor in the March quarter, according to IDC data compiled by Bloomberg. The company had 3.4 percent of shipments compared with 23.8 percent for Samsung Electronics Co. and 15.4 percent for Apple.

Huawei Technologies Co. is China’s biggest market of networking gear.

— With assistance by Robert Fenner

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