Fnac has launched a lease program in France, called "Pass Location", geared toward Apple fans at first, who can now rent a Mac, iPad or iPhone for 2 years, with a purchase option.
First Apple, other brands to follow
The brand-new Pass Location service's system is quite easy: the customer signs a 24-month contract and pays a monthly fee depending on the product's value with the option to buy the product after two years (if he pays a lump sum), the option to halt the contract if he returns the product or the option to exchange it for a newer model. The latter is even possible after 13 months into the contract, when a new product becomes available and after the rental fee has been updated of course.
"The new service is now available for every Mac, iPhone, and iPad products Apple owns and will subsequently be expanded to other technological products and other brands", Fnac said. The target demographics are "technology fans who want to be early adopters of new technology and people who want to test a product before buying it."
Idea to boost electronics market?
The leasing system has been a well-established sales technique in the automotive industry and electronics chains have also tried to use it, even if it is mostly for larger (and more expensive) purchases.
Fnac hopes this service can boost sales in a difficult market, which is not only suffering in France. GfK Retail Report has shown that 2014 had not started well for electronics in Belgium. It has not yet been decided if and when Fnac will introduce the service in Belgium.