“WeFix and its central role in the Everyday strategy”

Vincent Gufflet, the Group’s Director of Services and Operations joins us to reflect on the agreement between Fnac Darty and Apple

Why is a retail leader like Fnac Darty focusing on repairs?

Repairs are familiar territory for Fnac Darty. They have been a part of Darty’s DNA for half a century, with the company capitalizing on the strength of its after-sales service to promote its famous Contract of Confidence. Today, repairs play a fundamental part in the Group’s ecosystem and are a cornerstone of our Everyday plan. We are therefore in an excellent position to steer customers toward the products that are least likely to break, to repair them if needed, and to buy them back and refurbish them when they are no longer wanted, so we can sell them again on the second-hand market. All of this bolsters our position as France’s leading repairer, while reducing our environmental impact into the bargain.

What does this agreement mean?

We want our customers and consumers to use repairs more often. That means making the process easier and more spontaneous. We can do this by rolling out services that make our customers think “repair first.”

With precisely that in mind, we are currently working on integrating AppleCare, Apple’s support service, into our mobile phone insurance.

We also want to put the spotlight on one-hour repairs at our WeFix locations. At present, there are only a few authorized Apple outlets in France, but our partnership will see this number grow to 142. This is a huge growth in supply and meets consumers’ biggest demand: quick repairs. After all, nobody wants to be without their phone for 10 days.

How are your teams preparing themselves for this new offering?

It’s a fresh challenge and one that has been embraced by our employees. Since the announcement in March, our WeFix points of sale have been preparing and getting hold of new equipment. Working closely with Apple, we now have just under 400 technicians adding to their experience and expertise by way of new training courses (of approximately 40 hours).

How do you expect this partnership to bear fruit?

Our agreement with Apple will let us carry out a great deal more repairs. We are already doing 2.1 million a year and are aiming for 2.5 million by 2025. Our Darty Max offering is constantly evolving to provide better repair services to our customers. Its growth is the spearhead of our success in this field. As part of the expansion, we are taking steps to prevent products breaking and make them even more reliable.

Are there new partnerships around the corner?

We have no intention of slowing down. We’re currently working with other constructors to gain even wider coverage, not only for phones and tablets but also computers, TVs and so on.   Our actions and partnerships all have the same end goal: to make us, both on a daily basis and over the long term, a vital ally to consumers, helping them be sustainable in their consumption habits and in their daily household tasks.

Does this partnership with Apple pave the way for Darty Max to grow?

We want to go beyond repairs, and in particular we want to act before devices break in the first place! According to ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) and based our own experience, more than 40% of device failures are caused by incorrect use or lack of maintenance. These figures show that customers are struggling to do what is needed to stop their devices breaking. In light of this, on May 12, we will be launching a major expansion of Darty Max in the area of maintenance. The new offering will enrich our signature repair subscription service for all household appliances, Darty Max, because it will let us focus not just on fixing failures, but on preventing and avoiding them in the first place.

It also lets us help our customers maintain and extend the life span of their devices. Those customers will have video calls with technicians who will give them advice on how best to use all their devices, regardless of brand or where they were purchased.

What does the future hold for WeFix?

WeFix has a massive role at Fnac Darty. Its expansion is an important part of our Everyday strategic plan, and we will continue to invest in rolling out the network, even though the number of points of sale has doubled since WeFix joined the Group. Our express repair offering complements Darty Max and we intend to put it front and center of our offensive in the repairs market. This partnership with Apple is a significant catalyst for WeFix and an important recognition of our Group’s commitment to repairs.