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.

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 %.

Global DIY Network: “Meet the CEO” with Hiromasa Tsuchiya, Owner and Chairman of CAINZ.

On the 17th of February at 10:00 CET John W. Herbert, General Secretary of EDRA/GHIN, will continue the “Meet the CEO” series for 2021 with an interview with Hiromasa Tsuchiya, Owner and Chairman of CAINZ.

As a home improvement centre, CAINZ has always kept the goal of “improving your lifestyle” in mind, and continue to provide numerous services in order to fulfill that goal. CAINZ gather great products from both inside and outside of Japan and make them affordable, so that they can help improve their customers’ lives both comfortably and conveniently.

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.

Austria: DIY Stores and other Retailers Reopen.

From Monday 8 February, all retailers in Austria were permitted to reopen their stores.

This means that home improvement stores will once again be open to the general public as well as trade customers. However, opening times will be limited from 06:00 to 19:00 and protective measures will also be increased.

An area of 20 m² will now have to be available per customer instead of the previous regulation of 10 m². Further to this shoppers will also have to wear an FFP2 mask.

Following the reopening the editors of diy Magazine asked DIY retailers in Austria for a short description of the reopening and received statements from RWA / Lagerhaus, Hagebau, Hornbach, Bellaflora and 3e AG: these can be found HERE.

Generally the reopening was described as successful with good sales and no rush.

Finland: Hardware Sales Increased by 5% in 2020.

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.

www.rasi.fi

New Zealand: Article “How Mitre 10 is Transforming for the Future”.

In January 2021 the New Zealand Hardware Journal sat down with Chris Wilesmith, CEO of Mitre 10. Despite indicating that he would be leaving the position in September 2020 Chris Wilesmith will continue as the cooperative’s CEO following an easing of the trans-Tasman border restrictions.

At the start of his appointment as CEO Chris Wilesmith referred to a transformation said to involve “the single biggest investment in the history of Mitre 10”. One year into this transformation the cooperative continues to “drive efficiency, reduce costs and empower teams to focus on doing the right things for customers to create a frictionless experience”.

A series of workshops identified six key areas which the Mitre 10 NZ CEO calls “stratgic pillars”:

  1. Experience
  2. Solutions
  3. Inspiration
  4. Delivery
  5. Confidence
  6. Responsibility
You can read the entire interview in the New Zealand Hardware Journal February Edition HERE

EDRA/GHIN: Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Goals.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for a more sustainable future. We believe that the Home Improvement sector is one sector ideally placed to promote these goals, both in a way we organise our businesses and through the products and services we offer to our customers.

EDRA/GHIN have completed a recent project in which we collated some highlights of the work that the EDRA/GHIN membership complete to contribute towards these goals. This is by no means an extensive list, rather a collection of examples. All information provided was sourced from publically available information.

We fully understand that sustainability is a journey, not a destination, and we will update the document as our businesses continue to develope their own individual programmes.

The highlights of contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be found HERE.

Any reader who would like to know more about the project should contact EDRA/GHIN at info@edra-ghin.org

Italy: OBI Recognised as a Top Employer for the 5th Consecutive Year.

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”

www.bricomagazine.com

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.