Despite recent setbacks, LeEco has big retail ambitions in China

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LeEco may have had some high-profile setbacks in recent weeks, with news coming from the company that it had overextended itself financially in some areas, but the Chinese electronics maker and service provider is still doing ambitious things in retail, starting with a new flagship store it opened at its Beijing headquarters earlier this year.

We toured the store, and spoke to LeEco VP of retail Steve Zhao about some of the inspiration for the retail space and its intended purpose. A significant portion of Chinese electronics shoppers do their buying online, so the focus is on building a store that provides experiences and examples of how LeEco devices and services might work for a consumer in their daily lives, rather than on stocking shelves with as much inventory as possible.

From flooring and furniture materials to layout and staff, the LeEco store feels like an Apple Store, which isn’t surprising given its aims and intent. But this is also only the first iteration of what’s to come; Zhao told me that their first major retail location in a shopping centre will dwarf the current flagship in size and scope, with a launch planned for sometime later in 2017.