With Apple, Fnac Darty wants to take a new step

THURSDAY PRO // Earlier this year, the Fnac Darty Group partnered with Apple to become the first third-party repairer of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch in France. Vincent Gufflet, Director of Services and Operations at Fnac Darty, reveals the problems associated with this alliance.

Fnac Darty, a giant in the distribution of electronic and cultural products as well as household appliances, can count on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and all other Apple products to attract its customers. But the relationship between the French group and the apple brand took on a new dimension at the beginning of the year. “Apple and Fnac Darty, it’s a long story. We are Apple’s first and most important partners in France. What’s new is that we’ve partnered with Apple on services, and especially on the repair part. “says Vincent Gufflet, Director of Services and Operations at Fnac Darty.

The French group, which is already the leading retailer of Apple products in France, has entered into a partnership with the Cupertino company to become the leading third-party repairer of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. With this agreement, Fnac Darty joins the Apple Authorized Service Center (CSAA), which allows it to offer the same services as an Apple Store.

A partnership that leverages the acquisition of WeFix

This partnership represents an opportunity for the company led by Enrique Martinez to take advantage of the acquisition three years ago of the company WeFix, which specializes in repairing smartphones. “What we were missing on smartphones was express repair”, specifies Vincent Gufflet to justify this acquisition. Behind the latter hid Fnac Darty’s desire to establish himself corners in each group store. Today, WeFix, which has 400 employees and requires 30,000 repairs a month, is present in more than 140 points of sale.

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As part of the partnership with Apple, WeFix now has access to components and various spare parts from the company Cupertino. This guarantees traceability of internal components and reassures the consumer when he gets his device repaired. In addition, WeFix teams must receive training in know-how and handling of Apple tools.

In addition to the repair component, the French brand specifies that Fnac Darty stores can now offer AppleCare insurance made by Apple. The group states that it will supplement what it already offers when selling smartphones, with a view to “simplify the customer journey and centralize the different stages of their experience”. The Tricolor company already repairs 2 million electrical and electronic products a year and aims to reach 2.5 million in the near future.

Darty Max, the group’s second pillar in services

The partnership with Apple is part of the strategy that Fnac Darty has implemented to expand its service offering. This is especially based on Darty Max, a service launched in 2019 to get its devices repaired unlimited in exchange for a monthly subscription. The offer, which now has more than 500,000 subscribers, has also just been enriched with the addition of video assistance so that the customer can once a year take stock with technicians on the maintenance performed or the interventions to be triggered.

This approach aims to extend the service life by preventing as many crashes as possible. The stakes are high, as Fnac Darty claims that 47 to 70% of breakdowns and requests for warranty assistance are due to lack of maintenance or improper use. This preventative maintenance service has been available since May 12 in the Darty network and will be available from June 16 in Fnac stores. Its rollout should contribute to the group’s goal of reaching 2 million subscribers to Darty Max by 2025.

Canal +, an offer that not only makes people happy

In addition to supporting customers with repairs, Fnac Darty, which passed 8 billion euros in sales in 2021, is offering them other deals at checkout to enhance their experience. But it does not always have the desired effect … And with good reason, many customers have for several weeks complained about being forced to subscribe to Canal +.

The complaint is more or less always the same. After a purchase from Fnac or Darty, the customer finds himself obligated for the next 24 months with Canal +, without the possibility of terminating. “We send text messages to the customer to warn him, we inform him at the time of the subscription … We do everything to ensure that such a situation does not ariseassures Vincent Gufflet. The customer’s words are sacred, so when he tells us he is not happy, we take it as a golden letter. ”

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