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Fnac Darty adds smartphone repair services as it pursues “retail as a service” vision

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Fnac Darty is investing in a smartphone repair chain as it looks to expand the range of services it offers to customers.

The electrical retailer is in advanced negotiations to acquire a majority interest in WeFix, which specialises in providing fast smartphone repairs.

WeFix has 59 repair shops conducting over 12,000 repairs per month across France and Belgium.

It also sells reconditioned smartphones and accessories through vending machines at railway stations.

Fnac Darty will help the chain increase its footprint, with the aim of doubling its network size within two years. This will be done by adding new stores alongside dedicated corners within Fnac Darty stores.

Enrique Martinez, Fnac Darty CEO, said the acquisition was a “concrete illustration” of its Confiance+ strategic plan, introduced in December 2017.

“[It is] intended to position Fnac Darty as a benchmark player in smartphone repair and associated services, while offering an enriched ecosystem to customers.

“It also strengthens Fnac Darty’s commitment to the development of the circular economy, and to extending the lifetime of electronic products.”

The Confiance+ plan aims to prepare the retailer for the era of “retail as a service” by expanding its ecosystem with services and creating an open omnichannel platform.

The retailer said that its range of products would be complemented by “the best offer of services in the market (including advice, financing, delivery and after-sales services).”

Other additions to its ecosystem would include new subscription and loyalty programmes.

This enhanced range of services would come alongside a new digital in-store experience.

Last month, Fnac Darty teamed up with MediaMarktSaturn to launch the European Retail Alliance, a joint venture which will combine the digital resources of the two companies.

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