PRS, French champion of refurbished phones

Your phone might be out of there, if you didn’t buy it new. In workshops, located in Paris in the 18e borough, a hundred people sort, check and clean telephones in assembly line. Nearly 85% of the batteries are changed in this way. ” The specifications are very strict, certified by a laboratory, with 53 control points. It is unique in the profession “, assures Nessim Haddouk, co-founder and general manager of Phone Recycle Solutions (PRS), the first player in volume on the French market for refurbished telephones.

Growth crisis

The company does not work directly for individuals, but for large retailers such as Carrefour, Auchan and Leclerc. Created in 2017, it has a processing capacity of 5,000 units per day. In total, more than 2.2 million phones have been refurbished in less than five years, saving 73,000 tons of CO2, she argues. Only problem, a large part of the devices come from abroad, from the major American operators in particular. ” We won’t be able to find enough in France “, regrets Nessim Haddouk.

The company must also face a real crisis of growth. It is struggling to meet demand and its financial equation is complicated, underlines the general manager who scrutinizes the need for working capital like milk on fire and is considering a new fundraiser. The suppliers demand to be paid when ordering, while the supermarkets that buy the phones from him pay 60 days after being delivered.

PRS is thus seeking to diversify its customer base. At the end of September, it launched equipment rental formulas for professionals. “ This is a first on the market, says Olivier Bentz, who is piloting this new offer. It generates strong demand from companies as they seek both to save money and reduce their carbon footprint “.

Actors not always the most scrupulous

The whole sector is booming, with double-digit growth. Last year, 2.8 million refurbished phones were sold in France, representing almost 20% of the market. A craze linked both to the rising price of new models, to the purchasing power crisis, but also to the desire to consume more responsibly.

As a result, players are multiplying on the market, but are not always very scrupulous, according to a very critical report drawn up by the General Directorate for Competition and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), last March. It showed, for example, that phones sold as ” refurbished on platforms were only second-hand products sold by individuals.

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