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Published on April 2nd, 2019 | by The GC Team

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AO targets white goods rental market

Online electricals business AO has taken its first step into the white goods rental market, partnering with two Housing Associations in England and Scotland in a trial.

The retailer said its ambition is to reach thousands of families over the next year if all goes well.

Initially AO is offering an 8kg Candy washing machine for £2 per week with no hidden extra costs, no up-front payment and no credit checks. This includes delivery, full insurance, repairs, and the recycling of any old appliances. 

After five years, customers can replace the washing machine with a new one and send the old one back to AO for refurbishment or recycling, and they also have the option of cancelling at any time and arranging for collection of the appliance free of charge.

AO Founder and CEO John Roberts said: “This is yet another example of what we do best – disrupting the market in the AO Way.  It’s a straightforward £2 per week payment with no up-front charges and no catches so that customers know exactly what they are paying for their washing machine from the start. 

“It’s a totally different approach to the current rental offers out there and I believe that we’re doing better.”

Roberts believes AO is uniquely placed to make electricals rental affordable because of its business model. 

The company owns a nationwide logistics business with trucks delivering to every UK postcode daily and it has one of Europe’s most advanced electricals recycling plants, which recovers valuable metals and plastics that are sold on for future use.

“Our advantage is that we own most of the supply chain,” Roberts commented. “This keeps our costs low, meaning we can save customers hundreds of pounds a year when it comes to renting electrical essentials. 

“Of course, rental has appeal for a broad range of customers, not just those on lower incomes. It’s early days for us but I’m optimistic about the potential.”

If the service is successful, AO said it may expand into other products in future.

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