Tim McGuire is chief executive officer of Mobile Klinik.
What is Mobile Klinik and what does it do?
McGuire: Mobile Klinik is Canada’s largest and fastest-growing retail network of while-you-wait smartphone and tablet repair, care, sales and services stores.
As Canada’s only national Samsung and LG-authorizd in- and out-of-warranty repair retailer, Mobile Klinik offers no-appointment-needed, professional smartphone and tablet repair for almost all makes and models of devices, completing most repairs in under 60 minutes.
Mobile Klinik is also Canada’s largest retail buyer and seller of certified pre-owned phones. Canadians own over 40 million smartphones and tablets, and 25 per cent of those devices get broken every year (including close to 100 per cent of the devices owned by teenage boys!) – that’s 10 million repairs needed across Canada, so we have lots more room to grow.
How many locations do you have and how many more will you be opening?
McGuire: We have 58 stores across Canada, including 52 Mobile Klinik stores and the six Device Care stores that we bought recently. Alberta is one of our strongest markets, with 12 stores so far, including Market Mall and Sunridge Mall in Calgary, Bower Place Mall in Red Deer, and nine stores in the greater Edmonton area – plus another 12 to come over the next year or two.
We will have about 80 stores by the end of 2019 on the way to our ultimate goal of 200-plus stores across Canada by 2022.
Why did you acquire the Device Care network and how will it fit with Mobile Klinik?
McGuire: Device Care is a six-store chain in Ontario and Quebec that offers Canada’s best assortment of top-quality branded and private-label smartphone and tablet accessories, as well as repair services. Device Care’s accessories offer is substantially stronger than Mobile Klinik’s, while the reverse is true in repairs and certified pre-owned phones, which are Mobile Klinik’s core strengths.
We believe that offering the best of both brands will be a 1+1=3 opportunity. We will expand both the Mobile Klinik and Device Care brands across Canada to support our vision to provide all Canadians with the country’s best smartphone and tablet repair, care, sales and service. Together, Device Care and Mobile Klinik will offer a broader range of products and services than any other device repair and accessories retailer.
Can you explain the recent investment you secured and its importance for the company?
McGuire: We recently closed a Series C equity raise of $27.5 million, bringing total investment in the company to $44 million, which we understand is over five times more than has been raised by all the other companies in the Canadian retail repair industry combined, and we believe the largest-ever raise for a Canadian retail startup.
Our ability to raise substantial capital is a huge vote of confidence in our business model from our investors, and supports our acquisition of Device Care and additional acquisitions to come. More importantly, it’s a key competitive advantage as it fully funds our rapid national rollout to 200-plus stores, which ensures we can offer our business partners – including the wireless carriers, insurance providers, device manufacturers and B2B customers – the only true national service network to meet the needs of all smartphone users, regardless of where they live across Canada.
When you look to expand, what are the key factors determining great locations?
McGuire: We look first for high-traffic shopping locations, which means we start with the best major shopping malls in every market. In markets without great enclosed malls, we look to see where people in the community shop most often – in many markets that’s at Walmart, and we recently launched an exclusive program to open Mobile Klinik stores inside select Walmart Supercentres across Canada.
We also operate standalone stores in high-traffic outdoor plazas.
We always try to be close to where customers get their phones, so we’re looking near the wireless carriers and third-party wireless stores, because the first thing most people do when they break their phone is go back to where they got it originally and ask where they can get it fixed.