A giant in the distribution of electronic and cultural products, as well as household appliances, Fnac Darty 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 start of the year. “Apple and Fnac Darty, it’s a long story. We are Apple’s first and most important partners in France. What is recent is that we have entered into a partnership with Apple on services, and in particular on the repair part”says Vincent Gufflet, director of services and operations at Fnac Darty.
The French group, already the leading reseller of Apple products in France, has entered into a partnership with the Cupertino company to become the leading third-party repairer of 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 headed by Enrique Martinez to capitalize on the acquisition four years ago of the company WeFix, which specializes in the repair of smartphones. “What we were missing on smartphones was express repair”, specifies Vincent Gufflet to justify this acquisition. Behind the latter was hidden Fnac Darty’s desire to set up corners in the group’s stores, as well as spaces in shopping centers. Today, WeFix, which has 500 employees and claims 30,000 repairs per month, is present in more than 140 points of sale.
As part of the partnership with Apple, WeFix now has access to components and various spare parts from the Cupertino company. This guarantees traceability of internal components and reassures the consumer when having his device repaired. In addition, WeFix teams must receive training in the 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 indicates that it will complement 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 2.1 million electrical and electronic products per year, and aims to reach 2.5 million in the near future.
Darty Max, the group’s other pillar in services
The partnership with Apple is part of the strategy deployed by Fnac Darty to expand its service offering. This is based in particular on Darty Max, a service launched in 2019 to have 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 to allow the customer to take stock once a year with technicians on the maintenance carried out. or the interventions to be triggered.
This approach aims to extend the service life by preventing as many breakdowns as possible. The stakes are high as the Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) indicates that 47 to 70% of breakdowns and requests for assistance under warranty are caused by a lack of maintenance or misuse. This preventive maintenance service has been available since May 12 in the Darty network and will be available from June 16 in Fnac stores. Its deployment should contribute to the group’s objective of reaching 2 million subscribers to Darty Max by 2025.
Canal+, an offer that does not only make people happy
In addition to supporting customers with repairs, Fnac Darty, which passed the 8 billion euros mark in sales in 2021, offers them other offers at checkout to improve their experience. But that doesn’t always have the desired effect… And for good reason, many customers have been complaining for several weeks about finding themselves forced to subscribe to Canal+.
The complaint is more or less always the same. Following a purchase at Fnac or Darty, the customer finds himself committed 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 subscription… We do everything to ensure that such a situation does not occurassures Vincent Gufflet. The customer’s word is sacred, so when he tells us he is not happy, we take it as a golden letter.”