The building and home improvement trade ended up growing by 4.8 per cent in 2020, but the growth was not evenly distributed in the industry. There was a clear difference between consumer and professional customer trade. As larger projects went on ice, consumers themselves began to improve the home and yard.
The high levels of new construction, which has been taking place for several years, started to decline in 2020, which was reflected in the professional customer trade. “Consumers, on the other hand, found pleasure in do-it-yourself, which was also reflected in the sales development focused strongly on consumer sales,” says Minna Liuksiala, CEO of the construction and DIY retail association RASI ry.
“Almost all yard and garden products were sold in record terms. Outdoor decking and grills, as well as plants and garden products saw a huge increase in demand. Demand for larger garden investments, such as outdoor hot tubs, also exceeded all expectations” continued Minna Liuksiala.
OBI has been certified by the Top Employers Institute as a Top Employer Italia 2021 company. This is the fifth consecutive year that the German multinational has obtained this recognition, distinguishing itself for its constant commitment to provide the best working conditions to its employees and for the implementation of best practice, always having its people as a priority focus.
Even in a complex year like 2020 the company completed the HR initiatives that it proposed. In particular it has maintained and implemented the projects envisaged for the development of the digital platform aimed at improving the level of communication between employees, in a historical period in which physical contact was reduced to a minimum.
“The year 2020 has placed us in front of difficult and unexpected challenges – comments Marcello Lorenzi, Human Resources Director of OBI Italia. “The certification, which was awarded to us for the fifth year in a row, confirms the ability of our company to maintain a high focus on people and the quality of the work environment, even in objectively complicated situations” Lorenzi adds: “The challenges in 2020 were not lacking, with the implementation of smart working in the offices, and the introduction of new and stringent hygiene and safety measures in the stores. We can be truly satisfied with the objectives achieved”