Mobile Klinik Professional Smartphone Repair, Canada’s largest and fastest growing while-you-wait smartphone and tablet repair, care, sales and services retailer, continues to expand its footprint across the country, doubling its size in the past year.
The recent acquisition of fonelab, a smartphone repair, sales and accessories chain with eight locations in Ontario, brought the Mobile Klinik portfolio to 80 locations.
“We have a clear vision to provide Canadians with much-needed, professional, trusted smartphone and tablet repair and care services, and fonelab is an excellent fit with that vision. Their skilled staff along with their desirable shopping mall locations will enhance our rapidly-growing business,” said Tim McGuire, CEO of Mobile Klinik. “This acquisition caps a wildly successful growth year: we started the year with 40 Mobile Klinik storefronts and just one year later, we’ve doubled our network to 80 stores. I’m already looking forward to this time next year, when we’ll have blown right by the 100-store mark.”
McGuire said fonelab brought to the fold eight of the best malls in Canada for the company, which began its operations in 2015.
“This was a company we both admired and coveted for a long time. They started a year or so earlier than we did so they were able to get into some malls before we were able to and we’ve wanted to be and need to be in all of those places,” he said.
“There’s a hundred companies out there that are trying to provide some form of smartphone repair and sales in Canada. This is the company most like us. They have all the same partnerships with the carriers, and with the insurance companies that do all the after care insurance for the carriers. Their stores look like ours. Their processes are like ours. Their people are trained like ours. You would have thought we were at least close cousins if not siblings. We just decided it was time to bring the whole family back into one big house and we’re delighted about the opportunity.
Real estate company Oberfeld Snowcap represents the retailer and is working with it on the expansion.
“Obviously we can offer a tremendous amount of operating scale potential of growth potential to their people. They weren’t going to be growing that business a long ways beyond the current eight stores. We’re at 80 and on our way to 200 and that creates potential for their technicians to move up and become store managers and if they want they can work in stores anywhere across the country not just in the GTA. It was a natural fit for us.”
All eight fonelab locations will be converted to the Mobile Klinik brand in the first quarter of 2020:
CF Fairview Mall, Toronto;
Conestoga Mall, Waterloo;
CF Fairview Park, Kitchener;
Scarborough Town Centre, Scarborough;
Oshawa Centre, Oshawa;
CF Lime Ridge, Hamilton;
Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket; and
CF Masonville Place, London.
“We’re just really excited about this being the next wave of growth to continue to push the business forward,” said McGuire.
“We’re planning to add another 30 to 40 stores in 2020. If you go back two and a half years ago, we had six stores.”
McGuire said the chain also has plans for international expansion beyond Canada.
“This is a race car that is lapping the others on the track and we’re going to keep it running,” he said, adding that the decision to go internationally will be made some time in 2020.
Mobile Klinik offers no-appointment-needed, trusted professional smartphone and tablet repair for almost all makes and models of devices. Its trained, expert technicians typically complete repairs in less than 60 minutes.
fonelab is an authorized repair service provider for Samsung, LG, and Huawei smartphones and tablets.
The Mobile Klinik chain has stores in major shopping malls, select Walmart stores, and other high-traffic retail locations across the country.
McGuire said the company’s next wave of growth will be its own organic growth.
“There’s really nobody left to buy,” he said. “There are no groups of more than three or four stores that we would look at and say ‘hey that’s somebody a lot like us, we can figure out how to fold that into our plans’. I’m not going to rule out that there might be another small acquisition or two in the future but that’s not going to be a big driver of our growth.
“Those next 120 stores are probably 120 new builds. Our international opportunity will be different. My expectation is when we choose a market to go to we will likely do so by making an acquisition of a small to medium size company in that market and then grow it like gangbusters just like we have in Canada.”
McGuire said the company has seen growth as well in its accessories business which is its fastest growing business and he’s confident Mobile Klinik can triple that in the next year. Also, its used phone business is growing.
“We buy and sell more phones than any other retailer in Canada and we believe we have the potential to be Canada’s used phone superstore and that business is growing aggressively as well. We’re never going to lose our focus on repair but we’ve got a lot of upside in those other areas as well.
“Over time, you put all three of those pieces together we’re confident we can still double our sales per store over the next three years in addition to growing the store count. We’re nowhere near being mature even in the markets we’re in. There’s lots of market share to take away from small players, from independents, from mail in repair companies. When you combine that with the growth in our accessories and used phones businesses we can double our sales per store going forward.”