Monday 20 August 2018 6:27 pm

iSmash eyes partnerships with insurers as part of expansion drive

Retail and leisure reporter

Retail and leisure reporter

Follow Alys Key

Phone repair company iSmash is eyeing a range of partnerships including deals with insurance companies as it expands.

The chain, which has defied high street gloom by announcing plans to expand to 70 shops in the next two years, is exploring new ways to bring in customers.

Founder Julian Shovlin told City A.M. that iSmash could partner with mobile phone insurers to offer repair packages for customers, under which the insurer would pay the company directly once a claim has been approved.

“We’ve started to have conversations with some of the big players in the insurance industry,” he said.

The company is also looking into turning its shops into accredited repair centres for certain phone brands by partnering with manufacturers.

This comes as iSmash, which currently has 26 stores in the UK, seeks to triple the number of its locations by 2020.

Shovlin said that expansion plans could also include partnerships with other retailers, despite the abrupt end of its first experiment with instore concessions after Maplin Electronics went into administration.

The rollout of new stores will also target UK towns and cities outside of London, but Shovlin added that there is space for more branches in the capital, especially in busy areas like the City.

“We could go to 20-30 in London,” he said. “There’s shopping centres and transport hubs that we’re not in like Waterloo station.

“In the City there’s pockets where there’s opportunities such as around Liverpool Street Station.”