High street cobbler and key cutter Timpson is rolling out a mobile phone repair service across its portfolio of 900-plus stores.
The move follows a successful trial of the service in ten stores last summer. Since the trial the family firm has extended the repair service to 340 stores and is planning to roll it out to all its stores by the end of the year.
Timpson’s initial strategy is to offer cut price, fast track mobile phone and tablet repairs focusing largely on screen repairs for Apple and Samsung devices. Repairs are delivered in store within hours and with a 12 month guarantee. More complex repairs are carried out by Timpson’s repair facility in Wolverhampton or outsourced to a third party repair facility.
Speaking to Mobile, Timpson chairman John Timpson (pictured), said the firm was taking an evolutionary approach to its mobile phone repair strategy.
‘We trialled our repair service in July last year in ten shops and had a very good response and now have around 300 stores offering repairs. From what was a standing start we are seeing pretty good business with some stores doing fantastically well. Customers like the fact we guarantee everything we do and as a well known brand our customers come to us because they trust in what we do.’
A smashing service
Timpson said that as the service matured the company would extend it to include a broader range of devices and more complex repairs. This could include mobile phone accessories but not mobile phones, Timpson added.
He said: ‘Our plan is to gradually put this service in all our stores and then go back and reappraise what we are doing. We have deliberately started at the bottom end of the price range - the more phones we can process the quicker our people will learn the trade. We will keep going until we offer a complete repair service.’
Timpson has no plans to recruit trained mobile phone repair engineers for its stores. Instead it is training existing staff through seminars at the company’s headquarters in Wythenshawe in Manchester and via on-site training.
Timpson said: ‘We already recruit 700 apprentices a year and are opening new stores at a fast pace all the time so we already have a training scheme in place.’
He added: ‘We don’t want mobile repair engineers in our stores. We want people who can sell and who can relate to our customers so we are training our own people.’
Timpson added that the new service has been adopted enthusiastically by staff: ‘We have a lot of techies already in the firm who love doing mobile phone repairs and they then spread the word to other staff.’