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|F.Studio stands has reported poor business in the past two years|
F.Studio was once considered the “golden egg laying goose” of FPT Digital Retail (FRT). During 2012-2016, F.Studio and FPT Shop created a breakthrough for FRT. To seize opportunities and develop on the right track, it has rapidly expanded its chain and revenue has increased as a result. Turnover rose from VND1 trillion ($44.48 million) in 2012 to VND10.5 trillion ($456.52 million) in 2016, making it Vietnam’s second-largest retailer.
However, the problem is that the business results of F.Studio (much like other Apple Premum Retailers [APRs]) depend on new iPhones. Thus, the downturn in iPhone sales since 2018 had a significant effect on the company.
FRT CEO Nguyen Bach Diep said that the more attractive new iPhone models are to customers, the higher the sales of APR partners. Before 2018, iPhone fans were anxiously waiting the launch of new models in every November. However, the past few devices had little new in terms of technology, with only price tags increasing year after year, reducing customer loyalty.
Along with the gloomy business results, in 2018, FRT ran into difficulties in expanding the F.Studio system due to FRT and Apple failing to reach a compromise in the criteria for new stores. In addition, the expansion plan continued to be delayed due to dismal sales. These reasons explained why not a single new store has been opened since late 2018.
While the official revenue and profit of F.Studio was not disclosed, FPT Retail affirmed that the dull business results of this chain in the first two months of 2019 negatively impacted the consolidated business result of FRT. FPT even built a new development strategy to offset the declining revenue from mobile phone retail.
In addition, according to the forecasts of GFK, a market research institute, the market of smartphones, especially iPhones, has reached the saturation point which reinforces the gloomy prospects of F.Studio.