LG is preparing to open 600 new retail stores in emerging markets to boost its smartphone sales.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, LG’s Executive Vice President Kim Ki-wan said the company will open new stores in India, the Middle East and Africa. In fact, the Korean company will likely grow by as much as 20% (or 600) this year, and will sell a variety of products, including smartphones, TVs and home appliances.
The announcement comes on the heels of Samsung’s partnership with Best Buy to open 1,400 “Samsung Experience Shops” (aka Mini Stores) within Best Buy’s locations across the U.S.
LG ended last year as the No. 5 handset maker overall, with 3.3% global market share and 55.9 million device shipments. And even though those figures were down from 5.1% market share and 88.1 million unit shipments in 2011, the company managed to make some money, reporting an operating-profit margin of 2% in the fourth quarter and 0.6% for all of 2012.
LG is facing competition not only from Samsung, Apple and Nokia – but also from Chinese handset makers, ZTE and Huawei, both of which managed to grow their smartphone businesses in 2012.
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