Dixons Carphone chief executive Seb James today unveiled ambitions to “redefine retail” as he seeks to create a pay-monthly membership scheme for customers.
Inspired by businesses such as Zip Car, Rent the Runway and Amazon’s Prime, James said that over time Dixons Carphone will shift away from a traditional retail model.
Instead customers will sign-up for a subscription that will entitle them to access a bundle of goods and services, such as repairs, installations and upgrades.
Customers that subscribe will not own the product outright under the plans, which are in keeping with the rapidly developing ‘sharing economy’.
James, as he unveiled an uplift in Christmas sales, said: “Shoppers are now only grazing on ownership”.
He said the new approach would “feel like a membership” and maintained: “We’ll be recruiting members to the business rather than just selling another telly.
“That way, when they need anything, they will come back to us.”
Expanded services rollout
As a big step towards the membership goal – the scheme will be built up gradually – Dixons Carphone has poached Telefónica UK sales and services director Feilim Mackle to spearhead its expanding services proposition.
Following a successful trial in Leeds, James today signalled a national rollout of the retailer’s upgraded services offer which includes iPhone repairs.
Mackle will oversee its gradual introduction, starting this summer.
In the long term, “he will be in charge of knitting all the pieces together”, James said.
Mackle, who has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry, worked at Telefónica for more than five years.
He was formerly executive director of life and pensions at financial services company Aegon, and did a four-year stint as managing director of retail banking at Royal Bank of Scotland.
Last year, James said the company’s support infrastructure and service provision distinguished it from rivals, such as Argos.
He also told Retail Week that services represented a “billion pound opportunity” for the business.