THURSDAY PRO // Faced with the boom in the market for refurbished electronic devices, more and more players want to take advantage of it. Among them, the Nantes-based SME Largo launched a B2B offer at the end of 2020, which already accounts for nearly 10% of its turnover.
With a third of French people having already bought a second-hand smartphone, the market for refurbished electronic devices has continued to grow over the years. Today, the European second-hand smartphone market represents more than 5 billion euros, according to a study carried out by the firm Kantar for Recommerce. In France, the second-hand market weighs 1.2 billion euros, including 1 billion for reconditioned, which has increased by 15% in the space of a year. In 2021, 17% of smartphones sold in France were refurbished phones, i.e. almost one in five phones sold for around 3 million units.
In this context, the actors multiply. Among them, Largo, a company based near Nantes which is positioned on the industrial side. Unsurprisingly, it is Apple’s electronic products, iPhone in mind, which are the most popular since they represent more than 85% of sales at Largo. “An Apple smartphone is a minimum wage. Three or four years later, it’s still an RSA”, remarks Nicolas Lescarret, sales director of the B2B offer at Largo. Faced with the success of refurbished goods in France, the SME relies on five distribution channels: retail (2,500 points of sale with Système U, Conforama, etc.), digital (website and marketplaces such as Back Market), operators being subcontractors on the B2B part, insurers on the affinity part and the business and local authority market with Largo Business.
To make the difference, the company can indeed rely on its B2B branch. Launched at the end of 2020, it now represents 9% of turnover (17 million euros in 2021). In this context, the company offers several services such as the recovery of IT products allowing the recovery and recycling of terminals that companies no longer use, and personalized support (deployment of the company fleet on site or remotely, configuration of terminals for meet expectations in terms of safety, premium after-sales service, etc.). Largo Business also gives companies an Ecological Report certificate that they can integrate into their CSR policy. This approach has won over several companies, such as Doctolib and IKKS.
Automation of reconditioning
In a market where margins are quite low, Largo is focusing on automating the reconditioning process using robots co-developed with Ponant Technologies. These machines are able to analyze 37 control points while 123 tests are carried out on each electronic device before being put back on the market. “We are the only reconditioners in France to have automated this test phase via robots which will come and do everything that we were doing manuallywelcomes Nicolas Lescarret. There are few industrial players who recondition in France.”
Listed on Euronext Paris, a rarity for a company in the sector, Largo, which has 90 people in its workforce, intends to accelerate its development to reach 37 million euros in revenue in 2022, then 70 million in 2025. “Our industrial tool will allow us to seek growth and improve our margins”, believes Nicolas Lescarret. With marketplaces, the company also hopes to gain momentum on a European scale as the market is growing by 15% each year and is expected to double by 2025.
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