Chinese drone maker DJI this weekend opened its first flagship store, taking over the whole of a tall, futuristic-looking building in an upmarket area of the startup’s home city of Shenzhen. The shop features a towering space enclosed with thin steel wires where shoppers can see drones in action in a safe environment.
The move looks like a sign of confidence by the Chinese startup, which this year secured US$75 million in funding to value the business at US$10 billion.
This is DJI’s first standalone shop, coming after small department store concessions and occasional pop-up stores, explains Kevin On, DJI’s associate director of communications, to Tech in Asia.
DJI is now one of a small handful of companies gaining fame around the world for making drones. The new store – and upcoming shops around the world – will cement the brand name and position it firmly in the mid-range to high end of a market that’s flooded by cheap manufacturers. DJI’s not the Xiaomi of drones – it’s the Apple of drones.
The firm’s drones, which come with specially-made cameras, start at about US$700 for the Phantom 3 series (for the regular consumer market) and run to well over US$10,000 for commercial drones like the crop dusting one revealed a few weeks ago.
Kevin explains that the building, in Shenzhen’s OCT Harbor area, is a former city tourist information place that authorities decided to lease out to a drone company – and DJI won them over with a pitch on why the startup deserved the sizeable spot.