Industry News: Congratulations Go Out to John W. Herbert from Around the World on his 80th Birthday.

Congratulations to John W. Herbert, literally from all over the world: the general secretary of the international DIY trade association EDRA/GHIN celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday 18 April 2021.

Due to the pandemic he moved the planned celebration to the Internet without further ado. Well-wishers praised his human attentiveness especially, his modest demeanour and, not least, his British sense of humour – qualities which support his, according to many, greatest talent: bringing people together and establishing networks.

John W. Herbert is one of the influential personalities of the international home improvement industry. The foundation of EDRA in the year 2004 stems from his initiative: the European DIY Retail Association, which he has since led as general secretary from his office in Cologne, and which was later extended by the Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN).

In this function he has had the opportunity to visit 53 countries with over 400 trips since he co-founded the association in 2002. He takes these opportunities to keep in contact with the 215 members of EDRA/GHIN who operate more than 32 000 stores in 75 countries worldwide and generate a total annual turnover of about EUR 320 bn.

John W. Herbert is a firm believer and lives out his personal credo in every respect: “Trade is the indispensable will to serve, trade is a matter of the heart.” He sees this as an essential prerequisite for success in trade. Those who have had the pleasure of crossing paths with John W. Herbert particularly appreciate his expertise, his knowledge of human nature, his uncomplicated, open willingness to talk and, of course, his dry English humour. Unmatched is his amazing memory for names and numbers. His vast experience, his professional know-how and his human qualities make John a sought-after and valued representative and moderator for the DIY industry worldwide.

However, the lively, healthy living and sporty John W. Herbert is not yet thinking of cutting back or even quitting, according to the official press release of the association. As a world traveller in the field of DIY, he is still in “cracking form” to continue representing the interests of the industry worldwide, on the international stage with maximum and relentless energy, and to cultivate professional connections for the benefit of the EDRA/GHIN members.

Japan: Cainz: Next-Generation Large-Scale Logistics Facilities.

Cainz has announced that it will establish new two logistics facilities in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture, with the aim of starting operations in the autumn of 2023.

The facilities are positioned as a next-generation large-scale logistics center that utilizes technology including the innovation of the SCM logistics information system and the introduction of robots and automated material handling systems for the unloading and transportation of incoming goods and the sorting of products.

Last December, ITOCHU Corporation and ITOCHU Property Development Corporation signed a lease agreement for the Cainz Kuwana Center. The four-story building, with a total floor space of approximately 90,00M2, will be the largest logistics base for Cainz.

As the “Mother Ship of the West,” the Kuwana Center is planned to have both of TC and DC functions. The Saitama facility, as the “Metropolitan Center,” will have TC functions, but will also have stock functions of hot-selling items to the stores in the east of Japan.

Europe: Kingfisher Full Year Results Demonstrate Impact of Covid-19.

On Monday the 22nd of March Kingfisher released their full year results. The group, which operates about 1,380 B&Q and Screwfix stores in the UK and Ireland, reported adjusted pre-tax profits of £756m in the year to 31 March, up 634% from £103m the previous year.

Overall sales, including the group’s operations in countries such as France and Poland, climbed 7.2% to £12.3bn. Click and collect sales surged 226% and account for more than three-quarters of all e-commerce sales, up from 62% in the previous financial year.

The company announced earlier in March it would be opening 50 Screwfix stores in the UK and Ireland this year, creating 600 new jobs.

“The Covid crisis has established new longer-term trends that are clearly supportive for our industry – including more working from home, the renewed importance of the home as a ‘hub’, and the development of a new generation of DIYers – and we expect these to endure,” said Thierry Garnier, the chief executive of Kingfisher.
“With our strategic progress, we are well positioned to capitalise on these new and positive market trends.”

Europe: Hornbach Group Increases Net Sales by 15.4% to Euro 5.5 Billion in 2020/21 Financial Year.

The coronavirus pandemic presented the Hornbach Group with a memorable 2020/21 financial year (March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021).

People withdrawing to their own four walls, employees increasingly working from home, and consumers sustainably changing their behaviour – all these factors provided a veritable boost to demand for DIY and home improvement product ranges.

Against this backdrop, based on initial preliminary figures net sales at the Hornbach Holding AG & Co. KGaA Group increased by 15.4% to Euro 5,456 million. Hornbach Baumarkt AG, the largest operating subgroup, operated 161 DIY stores with garden centers and online shops, as well as two specialist retail outlets, in nine countries across Europe at the balance sheet date on February 28, 2021 (2019/20: 160). Sales here also passed the 5-billion mark, rising by 15.6% to Euro 5,117 million. On a like-for-like basis and net of currency items, group-wide sales at the DIY stores with garden centers (DIY) grew by 14.7 %.

New Zealand: Andrea Scown Appointed new Chief Executive Officer of Mitre 10 NZ.

Following the resignation of Chris Wilesmith, Mitre 10 New Zealand has just confirmed that Chief Operating Officer Andrea Scown will lead the business forward as Chief Executive Officer, with immediate effect.

This appointment is doubly significant: Andrea Scown is not only the first internal appointment as CEO of Mitre 10 NZ, but it’s also the first time the co-op will have a woman Chief Executive.

“With Andrea now taking the helm, the business is well-positioned for the future” says Mitre 10 NZ Chairman, Martin Dippie. “She has an intimate knowledge of all parts of the business and a real passion for the co-operative model. She is a strong and authentic leader who has developed excellent relationships with members and their teams.”

In her almost four years at Mitre 10 NZ, Andrea Scown has progressed from GM Retail Ops to Chief Customer Experience Office and then to the COO role in November last year. Prior to joining Mitre 10 NZ, Andrea Scown’s CV includes GM at Speciality Fashion Group, Acting CEO at EziBuy and COO at Bendon.

Global DIY-Network: Interview with Werner de Jager, Group CEO of Cashbuild.

On Wednesday the 4th of November John W. Herbert interviewed Werner de Jager, Group CEO of Cashbuild.
The interview was the second in the “Meet the CEO” series on the Global DIY-Network, following the interview with Sergio Giroldi on the 21st of October.

Cashbuild operates in 7 countries in Southern Africa with a network of 318 stores trading through 2 different brands – Cashbuild and P&L Hardware.

As in other countries, the coronavirus pandemic had a positive effect on DIY store sales following the lockdown in South Africa. Cashbuild has seen a sales increase of  about12 per cent in May compared with May 2019, 13 per cent in June and 22 per cent in the third quarter. Online sales had also grown exponentially by 300 per cent, and Cashbuild are continuing to work hard to expand its e-commerce engagement, primarily targeting mobile commerce.

According to Mr de Jager, the reason for the growth is that “People have re-established and regained the value of their home and their property”. The Cashbuild CEO assumes that this situation will remain like this following the current boom in new building activities.

The next in the series of the “Meet the CEO” interviews will be held on the 2nd of December with Declan Ronayne, CEO of Woodie’s, part of the Grafton Group and one of the largest Home Improvement Retailers in Ireland.

Germany: Bauhaus Joins the BHB.

From mid-November, BAUHAUS will become a new member of the German DIY Retail Association – the BHB, and in effect a member of EDRA/GHIN.

BAUHAUS, with sales just under 7 Billion Euros in 2019 and 500,000 associates, is the 8th largest retailer in the Home Improvement industry. The chain has a presence in 19 countries through over 270 specialist stores – more than 150 of these located in Germany. BAUHAUS will also bring with it a high degree of strategic and operational experience in association work.

BAUHAUS is delighted with the membership and is looking optimistically towards future cooperation. The new membership of the BHB shows the importance of association bodies, especially in the turbulent times we are currently experiencing, and demonstrates that cross-company cohesion is taking a more prominent role.

BHB Board spokesman Franz-Peter Tepaß emphasized this by saying “the last
months alone have shown that the industry is particularly successful when working in unity in regard to communication with politics, authorities and the media. Viewing the challenges that the industry is likely to face in the years to come, it is good to know that the most important players are collaborating under the neutral umbrella of the BHB”.

Footnote: John W. Herbert, General Secretary of EDRA/GHIN, congratulated both the BHB and BAUHAUS for coming together, recognising the excellent work the BHB does for its members.

Trade Fairs: IPM 2021 Postponed.

The IPM ESSEN, which was planned for January 26 to 29, 2021, has been cancelled.

Against the background of the increasingly dynamic situation and worldwide travel restrictions, Messe Essen have stated that there is currently not the planning security required for the serious preparation of the international trade fair participants. As much as the green industry has wished for IPM ESSEN as a communication platform, there is a great deal of uncertainty in view of the recent occurrence of infections in important markets such as the Benelux countries or France.

Nevertheless, Messe Essen is giving the industry a stage at the planned date of the fair and, together with its partner associations, is organizing a top-level meeting between decision-makers and politicians.

“The anticipation of the IPM ESSEN was great, especially after the past months of full renunciation by all those involved, the more difficult it was for us to decide to cancel the fair”, explains Oliver P. Kuhrt, Managing Director of Messe Essen. “However, it is our responsibility to enable our exhibitors to plan their participation in the fair seriously. Against the background that many of our customers come from abroad and are increasingly insecure due to the difficult travel conditions, however, this is not possible at present. We have therefore decided to cancel before the hot phase of stand planning begins”.

The next IPM ESSEN will take place at Messe Essen from January 25 to 28, 2022.

NHS: Registrations Are Open For The 2020 National Hardware Virtual Show.

Registrations are now open for the National Hardware Virtual Show.

Taking place from October 12th – 15th the Virtual Show will feature 4 days of keynote presentations, educational seminars and product pitch panels, direct appointment setting and networking between buyers, leading manufacturers and top suppliers, and a robust virtual product showcase featuring newly launched and never-before-seen products.

Alongside the Virtual Show all registered attendees will be able to join the NHPA for their All-Industry Conference. This year’s line-up features content from industry experts, successful retailers, and channel partners including special keynote speeches from Dan Starr, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp., and Kevin Hancock, CEO of Hancock Lumber, all centered around the 2020 theme of Industry Disrupters: How Today’s Leaders Are Winning the Retail Game.

EDRA/GHIN Members should contact us at info@edra-ghin.org should they wish to register for the show

Europe: Hornbach Maintains Strong Growth In Second Quarter Of 2020/21 & Opens Its Seventh Branch In Romania.

The Hornbach Group benefited once again in the summer months from consumers spending more time in their own four walls, a trend that has been intensified by the coronavirus pandemic.

At Hornbach Baumarkt AG, which operated a total of 160 DIY megastores with garden centers and online shops in nine European countries as of August 31, 2020, like-for-like sales net of currency items grew by 20.6 % to Euro 2,949.0 million in the first half (2019/20: Euro 2,444.7 million). On a like-for-like basis and net of currency items, the DIY stores with garden centers generated sales growth of 19.4 % in the first six months.

Further to this, the seventh branch of Hornbach in Romania will open its doors in Oradea on September 30, 2020.

“Despite temporarily closed markets in several European countries, we have been able to record positive business development in the course of the corona pandemic. With above-average sales growth, the six Romanian stores, which were allowed to remain open all the time, played a significant role in this,” said Hornbach Baumarkt CEO Erich Harsch.

In the coming years Hornbach is planning further openings in Romania, including stores in the Black Sea metropolis of Constanța and in the country’s second largest city, Cluj-Napoca.