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Activ8 aiming to open 200 retail stores

Alex Yau
March 24, 2014

Firm plans nationwide roll-out of repair and accessory stores by end of 2016

Accessory distributor Activ8 is aiming to “professionalise” the mobile phone repair market by opening up to 200 high street repair stores by 2016.

The ambitious plans were revealed by the Watford-based firm’s managing director Stuart Conroy following the successful launch in Stoke at the end of last year of its first store, trading under the brand “iFix”.

Conroy told Mobile News two further iFix stores will open in the next two months,in Watford and Holborn, with at least 20 open by the end of the year. A further 80 are planned for 2015 and 100 more in 2016 covering all major high streets in the UK.

The iFix stores will primarily be focused on repairs but some of the larger units will include a wider range of accessories.

“It’s quite an aggressive strategy,” he said. “A lot of people in the phone business are looking for different opportunities because margins have become a little bit tighter and that’s been most of the interest.

“The idea is to eventually have stores on every high street and at other convenient locations.”

Consumer confidence

Conroy added mobile phone repair remains a “major gap” in the market – and feels it’s time to move away from the “single desks in the corner” of shops to units on the high street with fully-trained staff.

He said each iFix store will offer a 12-month warranty on repairs, which he believes will help build consumer confidence in the repairs market.

“Consumer confidence is missing from the industry at the minute. There are no stores I would actually go into myself and have my phone repaired. No one has standardised the market.”

Conroy revealed the first few stores opened will be self-financed, but a franchise programme, costing £20,000 in initial fees,will be introduced.

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