DionWired combines tech services in-store

Michelle Avenant
By Michelle Avenant, portals journalist.
Johannesburg, 16 Oct 2015
Customers flooded to the relaunch of DionWired in Woodmead in August.
Customers flooded to the relaunch of DionWired in Woodmead in August.

SA lifestyle technology store DionWired is relaunching to better meet the changing needs of increasingly tech-empowered shoppers.

The relaunch promises a more versatile shopping experience by offering shoppers a wide range of in-store tech services, eliminating shoppers' need to trek between a slew of physical shops to maintain their various tech contracts and services.

The original relaunched DionWired in Woodmead, Johannesburg features an in-store Vodacom contract activations centre and a DSTV sales and technical support kiosk.

It also features a Samsung support and repairs counter, which offers Samsung users a wide range of services and repairs on their devices, irrespective of whether they purchased the device independently or through a cellular network. The support centre uses the device's IMEI number to determine whether it is still under warrantee, in which case the repair is free, and a wide range of basic repairs can be done in-store within a matter of hours.

The retail chain is looking into offering a similar service for Apple users, says Heindrich Willers, regional operations manager for DionWired.

The relaunched DionWired also features an in-store, Apple-accredited Apple boutique, complete with Apple-certified staff who can offer the same support and demos as would be found at an Apple iStore.

With the relaunch, DionWired now offers installation, support and servicing for all major devices purchased through the retailer, simplifying the process of buying and installing appliances such as gas hobs and home entertainment systems.

The retailer has also embraced a "hybrid" shopping model, allowing users to mix and match elements of online and in-store shopping experiences, for example by purchasing a product online and collecting it in-store instead of having it delivered.

Emerging technologies

In line with tech trends, DionWired stocks a wide range of popular fitness wearables, including Fitbit and Jawbone, as well as a range of Internet of things-empowered speakers.

The Sonos wireless speaker range offers users an expandable collection of speakers which can be set up around the home and controlled centrally from the user's smartphone via WiFi. The user can command the speakers to each play different sounds, or synchronise them to play the same sounds throughout the house.

The store also offers a range of drones for both playful and professional use, and a selection of high-end Canon and Nikon SLR cameras and lenses.

DionWired Woodmead was the first store to be relaunched in August, with seven more outlets to be relaunched in the coming year. Dion Wired Bedfordview will be relaunched on 29 October.