Xiaomi’s network of retail stores is growing fast.

How fast? Try 61 new stores in just four days.

It’s a sharp turnaround for Xiaomi, which made its first pot of gold by focusing on selling handsets online.

Xiaomi is opening 61 Mi Stores in the lead-up to China's May Day public holiday. (Picture: South China Morning Post)

In 2011, founder Lei Jun said cutting out the cost of running brick-and-mortar stores is the key to keeping Xiaomi’s devices affordable. He even bragged about how he knew e-commerce better than Google -- when Google was struggling to sell Nexus handsets online.

“I think, to this day, no longer is there anybody who is skeptical about our online-only business model. Within the first 34 hours of our new product release, we have tallied more than 340,000 orders. That is a crazy amount,” he said at the time.

But the company was forced to face the importance of offline sales in 2016. That’s when Xiaomi’s sales started to slow, and Lei admitted that it was a mistake on his part to “have overlooked offline sales.”

Last year, Xiaomi unveiled more than 200 Mi Stores all over the country, and plans to open a thousand in three years.

The Mi Stores themselves strongly resemble Apple Stores. Products are neatly laid out on wooden tables, with products in white boxes and bright product banners on the walls.

Xiaomi now has more than 300 stores around the world, with locations in India, France and Spain.