Retail Evolution

Fnac Darty Managing Director Enrique Martinez on Metro Group buy-in


Enrique Martinez, Managing Director of Fnac Darty group, tells us how the business, which was formed by Fnac’s purchase of Darty in July 2016, will change, following the sale of the Pinault family’s shares to Metro Group earlier this year.

The Pinault family has been an incredible ally for many years, as it accompanied the transformation of our business model. Now that Fnac Darty has laid the foundations for its new group, we welcome a new shareholder who is willing to support and accompany the strategy set out by our Group and the teams who carry out that strategy. Ceconomy will be a reinforcement for the development of Fnac Darty.

You recently divested the Brazilian division of the group. Why so?

Though it had many assets, our Brazilian subsidiary lacked a critical size, which is key in retail. We want to focus on our operations in Europe since we have a lot of value to create from our merger with Fnac Darty. We are happy to deal with Cultura, the Brazilian leader in Culture Distribution, in order to continue operating the Fnac model in the local market. It is a priority for us to be completely focused on the Fnac Darty integration and our main markets in Europe.

How are you seeing sales channels evolving, and what are you doing to keep up with the times?

Retail has evolved tremendously for the past years, notably in terms of services. Fnac and Darty are great examples of players moving from traditional retail to a modern combination of stores and online sales. Multichannel is the winning model, combining services, expertise and convenience across our more than 700 stores. We can deliver a product in less than one hour in the main cities, with a good economic model both for customers and for us.

The group has introduced some quite revolutionary ways for consumer s in- s tore to consult inf ormation about products – along with forums and os on online… How is this progressing?

Our main focus is to complete a great human experience in-store, with all of the content available on our websites. Our mobile applications give our customers that access in a very efficient way, to the point that they can complete the transaction themselves and bypass the lines to collect their products. Recently we overhauled the Fnac Laboratory, The Lab, a real institution of the high-tech world with more content, which is integrated in the stores through displays. We are very actively testing many other applications in stores, some of which are not entirely finalised yet.

What are the biggest challenges in the sector today?

Our main challenge is to defend value, for customers and also for the industry. Combining nice and delightful products with great services and experience both before and after sales, in order to improve the overall experience for the customers. Through new technologies, we will be more effective in the future to manage the customer life cycle as well as the products themselves.

What do you see as being the most interesting developments in the market in terms of product?

The smart technologies and the connected products create new opportunities in different markets. Voice-controlled technologies and connected home appliances will become standards in the near future. Another trend is to combine products and content, in particular on the TV market, which is also very interesting.

Why do you come to IFA?

It is a great opportunity to meet our main partners, share our vision and objectives, discover great new products and figure out how Fnac and Darty can be relevant to their success on our markets.

Photo: Enrique Martinez, Managing Director, Fnac Darty group