05 May 2015
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Yoobee ups commercial focus with 2degrees

By Heather Wright

Yoobee is offering 2degrees phone plans for business, as the Apple specialist continues its push into the commercial market.

The retailer has been offering 2degrees’ consumer range for around seven months, but only recently expanded to cover the business offerings.

Daven Naidu, Yoobee chief executive, says after a year of stabalising the Yoobee business after acquiring it from Renaissance in March 2014, Yoobee is now moving into a growth period.

Naidu says he has a goal of Yoobee returning to its glory days.

“If you look at the business that was there within Yoobee at its peak and then prior to us taking it on, there is still a way to go to get to the level Yoobee was at its peak,” he says.

He says he’s expecting an ‘achievable’ 5-10% growth over last quarter.

“Apple is a growing brand. The market is there, but it’s all over now, every [retailer] has it.

“We’ve got to bring those customers back and give them a reason to talk to Yoobee as their first choice.”

He says a big part of that is customer service, something the company has worked on extensively over the past year.

“If you go into a Yoobee store now it is quite different to how it used to be in the past.”

He’s adamant that returning to Yoobee’s glory days is feasible, saying the number of Apple dealers in New Zealand has shrunk, while the brand itself is not shrinking.

“It’s a growing brand, so I don’t see why we can’t get back there.”

The company launched an online store recently, offering a wide range of products, including accessories.

“We have more variety in our store than you would get on the Apple store.

“And people should be buying local!”

The company, which has five stores and employees 60 staff, will soon begin introducing 2degrees’ zones within its stores.

Naidu says the 2degrees part of Yoobee’s business is growing. “The relationship is going well and they have been a good partner for us.”

He’s hoping 2degrees acquisition of Snap in March will also translate to Yoobee providing some 2degrees broadband offerings.

“If they offer it to partners we would look at providing that to our customer base as well.

“Everyone who buys a computer these days uses it on the internet. At the moment we are just leaving that business on the table really.

“Quite often our customers are asking us who they should go with, so if we offer that solution in-store, I think we are providing another value and point of difference.”

Last month, Noel Leeming announced that it will be launching a broadband offering in the near future.

“Yoobee is obviously an Apple specialist store, but our customers also need those add on values. Rather than them having to go hunting, if we can offer that solution in a one-stop shop it’s good for them and will differentiate us,” Naidu says.

Yoobee may also look at ways of enabling business customers’ access to a wider range phones.

“If we get into a situation where a customer wants five iPhones and two of something else, provided that is available through our partner 2degrees.

“At the moment we haven’t engaged in that, but looking forward….

“Commercial is where we are growing our business. And we don’t want to walk away from a client selling them just one thing, we want to be able to provide a full range.”

However, Naidu stresses that the company won’t be diverging from its Apple focus.

“We’re not going to go out there and be selling Samsung and LG and that sort of stuff. It will be around a solution, and selling it around a plan, if it ever arises.”

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