Romanian startup selling refurbished smartphones seals partnership with Auchan
Romanian startup fenix.eco, which has been selling high-end refurbished smartphones online, has sealed a partnership with retailer Auchan. Thus, refurbished Apple and Samsung models are now on sale in Auchan Titan and Auchan Drumul Taberei, in Bucharest, as part of a pilot project.
Depending on the pilot project results, the distribution may be extended to other Auchan stores across Romania later this year.
“We entered the Romanian smartphone market seven months ago, bringing refurbished phones with many of the advantages of new models. With the combined sales of our online store fenix.eco and physical distribution through Auchan, our sales are increasing fast,” said serial entrepreneur and business angel Grégoire Vigroux.
Ionuț Ardeleanu, CEO of Auchan Romania, added: “We are glad to start this collaboration with fenix.eco, a startup which, through its business model, aligns with our mission to reduce our environmental footprint by extending product usage time.”
Launched in April 2020, fenix.eco started operating as an online store selling over 20 models of refurbished smartphones that cost up to 50% less than new ones. The fenix.eco phones also come with new accessories and a 12-month guarantee.
The company sells four brands of smartphones - Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Huawei. iPhones account for more than 80% of sales, with the iPhone 8 being the startup’s bestseller.
“At a time when most retailers are expanding online, fenix.eco is doing the exact opposite. We are an online store expanding into traditional retail. I believe this is the right move for our startup, given the nature of our products. Refurbished smartphones are still a new concept in Romania. We need to give our consumers a direct experience of it and earn their trust by letting them see our products. For this reason, it makes sense to sell to our customers face-to-face as well as online,” Grégoire Vigroux added.
Refurbished smartphones are becoming an increasingly popular choice at the European level, especially in Western countries, where consumers can already buy such devices both online and in physical stores. In France and Germany, for example, they made up more than 10% of the market in 2019. According to IDC, the global market for refurbished mobile phones was estimated at nearly 207 million units in 2019, a rise of 17.6% versus 2018.
(Photo source: the company)