French retailer Carrefour has joined forces with Back Market and ecoATM – a technological expert in automatic smartphone recycling – to offer consumers an in-store mobile phone valuation and trade-in service.
More than 50 kiosks are already in operation in a number of Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets in the country, with 135 set to be brought into service by the end of the year.
Elodie Perthuisot, the Carrefour group's executive director of e-commerce, data, and digital transformation, said, “With this brand-new partnership, Carrefour is taking yet another step towards the circular economy and is bolstering its commitments to sustainable development.
"This innovative service is designed to enrich the in-store experience for customers while at the same time boosting their purchasing power."
Smartphone Recycling Kiosks
The partnership aims to raise people's awareness of the circular economy in France by encouraging them to resell their old mobile phones.
The collaboration involves easy-to-use recycling kiosks, located inside Carrefour stores, where customers can have their old smartphones valued and swapped immediately for Carrefour gift vouchers.
The initiative will help protect people's purchasing power in France, as well as promoting more widespread use of refurbished devices, while at the same time supplying the production chain, Carrefour noted.
Reselling devices is vital to tackle mounting electrical and electronic waste.
An estimated 57.4 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment is set to be binned this year, which is a record.
There are an estimated 100 million unused telephones in France, and only 15% of the mobile phones sold are actually collected.
Back Market was a trailblazer for electronic waste, launching its online recycling service back in 2016, enabling people to resell their smartphones and PCs first of all.
It then expanded its service to cover a whole range of products, from games consoles to cameras, all of which could be resold via the website.
Thibaud Hug de Larauze, CEO and co-founder of Back Market, commented, "We are very proud of this excellent partnership with these two companies – once again, we are sending a powerful signal to promote the refurbished device market.
"By encouraging people to clear out their old smartphones from their drawers so they can bring them to us directly in stores, we are continuing our efforts to raise the general public's awareness of the impact that tech has on our planet."
In 2020, Carrefour started playing its part in the circular economy by setting up its Carrefour Occasion corners, a service that operated in partnership with Cash Converter.
Recycling operations are a key component of the retailer's digital strategy and are designed to bolster its omni-channel approach.
The partnership with Back Market and ecoATM will expand the Carrefour Occasion's offering with an additional service.
EcoATM has more than 13 years of experience in enabling people to trade in their pre-owned smartphones, and has built a solid reputation.
It has been operating in France since 2020, having already successfully established itself in a number of other countries, including the UK and Germany.
Its long-term aim is to establish presence in other countries in which both Carrefour and Back Market operate.
Tom Enraght-Moony, CEO of ecoATM, added, "By developing win-win partnerships with major retail companies in France, we will be able to deliver on our aim of becoming one of the key players, enabling people to trade in their old mobile phone as quickly and as straightforwardly as possible.
"Carrefour customers will get an innovative and efficient experience via our exclusive automated kiosks. In just a few clicks, they'll be quoted a firm and final price for trading in their mobile phone."