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Commercial focus for Yoobee

03 Apr 14

The Yoobee Apple stores will have an increased focus on commercial business under new owner, Logical Systems.

An Apple reseller for nearly 20 years, Logical Systems acquired the assets of Renaissance's Yoobee retailing operation last month.

Speaking to The Channel today, Daven Naidu, Logicial Systems chief executive and director, says the Yoobee stores will retain their retail offerings, but will put more focus on commercial customers as well.

A commercial account management team is being put in place throughout New Zealand and new point of sale systems are being established to enable commercial customers to buy on account from the Yoobee stores.

“Commercial customers have been discouraged from buying on account in the past. You had to pay then and there or go somewhere else.”

Now, Naidu says commercial customers will be actively encouraged and services such as data migration and set-up will be available, with engineers available to travel and work on-site or do work in-store.

He says the company carries enough inventory to provide same day delivery of machines to customers, and with stores in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch, the company can offer 'nationwide' reach.

“Yoobee did model to be retailer only. It did have commercial business in the past but whether it didn't value them, or didn't have the right strategies to look after them...”

The new POS system will also enable the company to capture customer information, something Naidu says was not done effectively at Yoobee previously.

“They didn't know who bought what, or anything about previous purchases. Very little customer data has been captured.”

The company will introduce a loyalty programme, offering discounts and 'VIP services' to repeat customers.

Naidu says he wants the stores to become specialist Apple stores to differentiate themselves from other retail outlets selling Apple.

Part of that plan sees Logical Systems taking its specialist Apple systems integration skills and deeper Apple technical knowledge, into the Yoobee stores. Logical Systems staff have been spending time in the stores to help upskill Yoobee staff.

The company has also now acquired iPhone dealership.

Perfect timing

Naidu says he had been looking to grow his business, but establishing a nationwide presence from scratch was 'a big task'. The company, which specialises in Apple systems integration, had one Auckland outlet and operations in Fiji, gains nationwide access with the deal, with five Yoobee stores nationwide, in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and two in Christchurch.

“I had been looking at how to grow the business, and then this opportunity came up to grow by acquisition, instead of having to set up everything from scratch.”

After years of having a distributor who was also a direct competitor, Naidu is relishing the opportunity for growth.

“With Renaissance as the Apple distributor, there were a lot of restrictions and our growth was hindered in a way. We were in direct competition with our supplier.

“Now the opportunity has come up because they won't be there to compete with us, and we don't anticipate any other distributors or partners going into competition with us.

“We stayed out of retail because of the competition, and focused on B2B. Now with our skills and expertise in B2B, one of our strategies going forward is to make Yoobee back into a full specialist store.”

Meanwhile, the Yoobee name will fade from existence sometime over the next 18 months, with Logical Systems only having the rights to use it for the next 18 months.