Global DIY Network: “Meet the CEO” with Carl Otto Løvenskiold, CEO of Løvenskiold-Vækerø AS.

On Wednesday 27th of January John W. Herbert, General Secretary of EDRA/GHIN, will kick-start the “Meet the CEO” series for 2021 with an interview with Carl Otto Løvenskiold, CEO of Løvenskiold-Vækerø AS.

Løvenskiold-Vækerø is a modern company with a long history, being established in 1649. The company is a leading player within commerce, real estate, forestry and agriculture, and constantly aims to take an active part in the further development of these industries in Norway.

The core values of Løvenskiold-Vækerø AS form the basis of their culture, shaping all of their actions. These core values are:

  1. Customer Focus
  2. Innovation
  3. Energy
  4. Long-Term View
MAXBO is the flagship of Løvenskiold Handel, Løvenskiold-Vækerø’s daughter company. The MAXBO chain originates from the traditional retail store for building material at Vækerø. The MAXBO concept consists of MAXBO, MAXBO Stormarked and MAXBO Proff.

The interview will take place through the The Global DIY-Network the global platform which brings together retailers, manufacturers, online players, consultants, journalists & professors, among other stakeholders from the home improvement industry.

Russia: Technosystems Striving Forward Despite Covid-19

“Crisis is a period which requires quick action in retaliation to rapid change” –  was the unofficial motto of Technosystem’s in 2020.

Analysts had predicted a 40% drop in sales in the DIY market in April and a 20% drop in May. However, the management of the Domingo chain, which has been a DIY player for almost 26 years with 13 shops in 8 cities throughout Siberia, quickly took all possible measures in reaction to the spread of Covid-19.

The outlets were equipped with individual sanitation posts, a  rigorous cleaning schedule was introduced, a wide range of socially important products were added to the range, and new standards for the delivery of goods from the online shop were introduced.

Denis Lizunov, General Director of Technosystem Management Company, said “In 9 months of 2020, the company’s turnover grew by 12% and profit by 15% compared to the same period last year. We haven’t stopped moving forward for a minute!”. He continued “Next year we plan to open seven more shops in several cities. Our priority is the mini format, designed to provide maximum comfort and convenience for our customers, and to become a portal to the showcase of our online shop.”

Further to this, from February 2021 customers of Pervomaster will be able to make use of its new mobile app. The app will offer customers a convenient product search using AI elements, the possibility to search for goods via barcode, add goods to cart in one click and see the unique price of goods as well as their own points balance.

Europe: Kingfisher Release their Q4 Pre-close Trading Update.

Kingfisher plc released their Q4 pre-close trading update yesterday.

Kingfisher has continued to experience strong demand across its markets with Q4 20/21 Group LFL sales (to 9 January 2021) up 16.9%. Financial year to date (1 February 2020 to 9 January 2021), Group LFL sales are up 6.5%.

Thierry Garnier, CEO of Kingfisher, welcomed the results by saying:
“The safety of our customers and teams remains our first priority while we fulfil the essential needs of our customers. We will continue to support our colleagues during these most difficult times, and I want to express my sincere appreciation for all our teams as they continue to operate in such a challenging environment.”

The full pre-close trading update can be viewed here

Benelux: Guy Colleau, CEO of Maxeda DIY Group, Shares Insights on Business Adaptability.

Guy Colleau, CEO of Maxeda DIY Group, was recently interviewed for The CEO Magazine. Maxeda DIY Group has a network of 345 stores, both owned and in franchise form, making it the largest DIY retailer in the Benelux region: with Praxis in the Netherlands and Brico and BricoPlanit in Belgium and Luxembourg.

During the interview, which appears in the January issue of the CEO Magazine, Mr Colleau recounted the firm’s experience throughout the spread of Covid-19. For example, in the Netherlands, where no full lockdown was imposed at first and stores were allowed to stay open “many customers visited us during the pandemic to take the opportunity to start small home-improvement projects.”

In the interview Mr Colleau also shares his top 3 lessons from the crisis:

  1. Never be afraid to change your mind
  2. There is a more sustainable way of working
  3. A crisis can be a blessing in disguise
You can read the full in-depth executive interview here: https://lnkd.in/etngsRQ

Global: Garden Trends Report 2021 Published.

Garden Media have published the Garden Trends Report (GTR) 2021.

The 2021 GTR Highlights:

•   How businesses have altered their strategies to come out successful during the pandemic
•   What future cities will look like
•   How people will adjust their home spaces to accommodate the new way of stay-at-home life
•   Finding joy and gratification in new ways

The GTR offers a peek into what will be trending in horticulture in 2021 and beyond.
Also presented are the six industry trends are going to shape the future post COVID-19, push business strategy pivots, and create a shift in home and work design.

A complimentary copy of the report can be downloaded HERE

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.

Global DIY-Network: Interview with Sergio Giroldi, Group CEO of OBI and EDRA/GHIN President.

On Wednesday the 21st of October John W. Herbert interviewed Sergio Giroldi, Group CEO of OBI and EDRA/GHIN President.
The interview was the first in the “Meet the CEO” series on the Global DIY-Network.

Two topics dominated the discussion: the coronavirus crisis and digitalisation.

OBI are continuing to evolve their digital offer, responding to the digitalisation of society. However, Mr Giroldi pointed out that Brick & Mortar physical stores will continue to play a principal role in the home improvement retailing landscape. Mr Giroldi repeatedly emphasized that the customer’s want and need interaction with real people that can be best provided in the physical store.

In response to questions regarding coronavirus, Mr Giroldi spoke of the significantly increased sales of nearly all DIY retailers. Particularly, the Click & Collect offer for customers has proven to be an increasingly used channel. OBI are also considering offering collection of goods purchased online at a number of new “collection points”.

Sergio Giroldi also discussed the newest OBI concept stores and inner city touch points, creating increased awareness of the brand in city centres. Through the Global DIY-Network viewers have the opportunity to re-watch the interview in its entirety, virtually visit the newest OBI Future store in Marsdorf as well as their Create by OBI! store and learn about the concepts behind them.

A day before the interview Mr Giroldi was diagnosed with Corona-Virus and so the interview was conducted from his home. The whole EDRA/GHIN Team wish our President a speedy recovery.

Finland: Hardware Trade showing Good Growth.

In Finland the third quarter of the building and home improvement trade continued to develop positively, with growth reaching 2.5%. The cumulative growth for the first half of the year stands at 6%.

Data from the Finnish DIY Retail Association RASI ry has shown that the soaring growth rates of spring and summer have now leveled off, but growth is continuing.

Minna Liuksiala, CEO of RASI ry, said “The growth of consumer sales and, on the other hand, the slowdown in the growth of professional sales can be seen more and more clearly. The slowdown in new construction has been predicted for a year by a sharp decline in the number of building permits. On the consumer trade side, the largest increase in late summer and early autumn, still over ten percent, was achieved in yard and garden products as well as tools and supplies that consumers use for independent renovation.”

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