With Hubside.Store, a new, ambitious player appears on the ‘refurbished’ multimedia market. The French retailer is opening 20 Belgian stores this year and is also growing rapidly elsewhere in Europe. The approach? Sustainable consumption.
The first Belgian store of the French chain Hubside.Store opens its doors this weekend in Louvain-La-Neuve, followed quickly by shops in Tournai, Brussels, Mons and Charleroi. In total, the chain wants to open 20 to 40 stores in the next 12 months. It has to happen fast, because the popularity of so-called ‘refurbished’ devices has really accelerated, the company says. “Of the ten million smartphones sold each year in Belgium, one million are refurbished devices,” says CEO Sadri Fegaier in conversation with RetailDetail. “The market is growing by 10% a year. The crisis will further accelerate this trend.”
At Hubside.Store, customers can buy new and second-hand refurbished smartphones, laptops and game consoles. They can also have their broken device repaired. With its budget-friendly offer, the retailer aims to increase the average lifespan of multimedia products and promote sustainable consumption. The chain also offers a rental service: an electric scooter, a projector, a Gopro or a drone can be rented for short or long periods. Hubside.Store also provides services such as multimedia insurance and website creation.
Focus on physical stores
“We sell about 40% new and 60% refurbished devices. Refurbished devices are 30 to 40 percent cheaper than new ones. You can also come to us with an iPhone 11 and trade it in for a new iPhone 12 immediately. Then you just pay the difference,” says Sadri Fegaier. Every device comes with a 24-month warranty and Hubside.Store also guarantees the lowest price for every smartphone. If you find a cheaper offer elsewhere, you will be refunded the difference in price.
Unlike most providers of refurbished devices, the retailer focuses on the physical store, where customers can get advice on the most advantageous options. Of course, it is also possible to buy online and to collect the devices from the stores free of charge. The stores are between 150 and 500 square metres in size and look pretty sleek: Hubside.Store certainly does not want to be associated with an outlet store or a discount shop. “We opt for top locations, in city centres or shopping centres. For example, we are going to open a shop on the Avenue Louise in Brussels.”
Hubside.Store is growing fast: it has opened 50 stores in nine months in France, 30 in Spain and 10 in Portugal this year. By the end of this year, the retailer aims to have a turnover of 100 million euros with 100 stores – there will be 500 locations by 2023. The company is part of Indexia Group, formerly known as SFAM, which specialises in multimedia insurance and also owns Apple reseller Switch. Indexia is also the second largest shareholder in Fnac Darty.