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IN THE NEWS
uBreakiFix Rounds Out 2020 With 611 Locations, Lands #18 Spot on 2021 Franchise 500® List
uBreakiFix announced substantial growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 22 new locations, bringing the brand’s total footprint to 611 stores across North America. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, uBreakiFix opened a total of 67 locations, pointing to notable development in California which now boasts 52 stores, Texas with 56, and Florida—the brand’s home state—with 83. uBreakiFix also closed the year with more than 600 mobile repair vehicles on the road, bringing its professional phone repair services straight to customers’ doorsteps. This ‘We Come to You’ service, in addition to curbside and mail-in services, enabled uBreakiFix to continue supporting customers in new, safe, and convenient ways amidst the pandemic. uBreakiFix plans to continue growing its ‘We Come to You’ footprint in 2021. Looking ahead to 2021, uBreakiFix plans to increase momentum, projecting 45 store openings during the first quarter alone. January is off to a strong start with seven locations already open, plus recognition on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500® list. uBreakiFix ranked #18 on the magazine’s 2021 list for outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power.
As COVID Continues, Franchise Execs Advise on Remote Work
The last week of February one year ago, about 200 staffers at uBreakiFix were excitedly moving into their beautiful new 33,000-square-foot headquarters in Orlando. Formerly a gym and with twice as much room as before, the space has soaring ceilings, a game room slash library, a basketball court and a set of bleachers for group meet-ups. “We focused on building a collaborative workspace,” says Justin Wetherill, CEO of the mobile-device repair franchise that’s opening 130-plus stores each year, accelerated by its strategic backer, Asurion. Two weeks after the move-in began, Wetherill sent everyone home. Reached in December, 10 months into the pandemic, Wetherill was back in the office, but only about 50 staffers, or 25 percent, were there, too, on a voluntary basis. They were following a “hoteling” protocol, in which people reserve a desk in advance and then complete a health checklist before entering. Temperature checks, hand-sanitizing stations and two daily cleanings of common areas are the new normal. “Are we bummed? Yes. Would we do it all over again? Absolutely,” says Wetherill about building the HQ. “The new office is another reason for everybody to become excited to come back to work when it’s safe and the time is right.” Count uBreakiFix, then, as one franchise operation squarely in the camp that physical headquarters are crucial to building dynamic cultures.
Make 2021 The Year You Upcycle Your Consumer Electronics Devices
According to the United Nation’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, in 2019 there was a record level of electronic waste (e-waste) worldwide, clocking in at 53.6 million metric tons of various consumer electronics (CE) from mobile phones and computers to appliances and other CE devices. According to Justin Wetherill, President and Co-founder of uBreakiFix, e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream, with high tech turnover a major factor. “For us, diverting e-waste starts with educating consumers about device repair as a favorable alternative to replacement, and then making the repair process as convenient, affordable, and seamless as possible to encourage adoption,” said Wetherill. “Through repair, we’re able to help customers extend the lifespan of their devices so they can upgrade when they want to, not because they feel they have to. We can also help customers fix any damage ahead of a trade-in or if they’re wanting to upcycle their device.” Wetherill says that if a device is beyond repair, or if a customer no longer has a need for it, the company can take them off the customers’ hands and responsibly recycle them through a new partnership with Samsung.
uBreakiFix co-founder says new mobile repair service is about creating a great customer experience
uBreakiFix, which specializes in repairing personal electronics at its corporate and franchise stores across the U.S. and Canada, launched a new program in October 2020 that sends a technician to a customer’s house to fix their broken devices. The ‘We Come to You’ on-site repair program lets customers schedule an appoint for a technician to visit their home, office or other location and complete the repair in two hours or less. The repairs are performed in a mobile repair vehicle, and eligible services include “smartphone screen repairs and battery replacements for most models.” uBreakiFix’s no-contract, on-site repair program for small electronics fills a gap in the current market for personal device repair. Small electronics, such as smartphones, computers, and game consoles, must usually be taken to a brick-and-mortar location (Apple store, Best Buy, uBreakiFix store, or local independent shop) or shipped to a repair facility for service. uBreakiFix President and Co-founder Justin Wetherill shares about the We Come to You program, how his experience trying to get his iPhone 3G fixed lead him to start the company, and why now was the right time to launch an on-site repair service.
Why 2020 made cheap phones good again
It used to be that if/when you cracked the screen of your smartphone or experienced some other kind of physical damage or software problems, you had to bring it into a physical store. However, in part due to market demands and public health concerns, there are companies like Asurion and uBreakiFix that will now come to you. Like mobile auto detailing, windshield repair, or engine service, you can get someone to come and fix your phone’s cracked screen or body.
Samsung and uBreakiFix Team Up To Make Electronics Recycling More Accessible
Samsung and uBreakiFix collaborated earlier this year to support frontline workers, providing more than 17,000 first responders and healthcare professionals with free repair services for their Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Now, the organizations are partnering once more for another noble cause – responsible recycling of unwanted electronics. Customers can drop off eligible devices at any of uBreakiFix’s 550+ U.S. locations, and professional repair technicians will process the devices and route them to a Samsung-authorized recycling partner. Those devices will then be refurbished or processed into raw commodities for future reuse.