The eco decryption. Covid-19: Fnac-Darty did not need to touch the 500 million euros of loan guaranteed by the State

The Fnac and Darty logos. Illustrative photo. (JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Fnac Darty has already repaid its state guaranteed loan (PGE) of 500 million. Why such a quick refund? Quite simply, because the brand weathered the crisis better than expected. Its turnover has remained stable. However, to cushion the fall in its activity, Fnac-Darty was one of the first companies to benefit from an EMP. It must be said that last year, at the same time during the first confinement, most Fnac-Darty stores were closed. But ultimately, the brand did not need to resort to the 500 million loaned by the State.

Riding the wave of telecommuting, she sold many more computers, printers, office equipment than usual. And then, especially its online sales made up for the losses. In 2020, Fnac-Darty thus attracted more than 5 million new customers to its websites. Two years ago, online sales represented 19% of its turnover, today it is 10 points more, or a third of its turnover.

Fnac-Darty has withstood the crisis well, but is nevertheless launching a strategic plan because the group wants to put even more emphasis on e-commerce. Its 12,000 salespeople are encouraged to turn to digital sales, to lead online chats, to advise customers via social networks. The risk, in the long term, is that Darty-Fnac will close some of its stores. It has 740 in France. The group’s idea is to move towards smaller stores and gain square meters.

Fnac-Darty focuses on product repair. With 2,000 technicians and 2.5 million annual interventions, the brand already boasts of being the leading repairer in France, pto respond to the planned obsolescence of dishwashers, coffee machines, vacuum cleaners. EIt wants to further develop reconditioning, the second hand.

His strategy? Deploy its subscription system set up two years ago: you pay a sum each month, and Fnac-Darty guarantees you unlimited repair of household appliances, whether or not they are purchased from them. However, it remains to be seen whether, with the crisis, households are ready to make this kind of commitment.

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