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What the industry thinks about the DIY Boulevard


In the scope of the DIY Boulevard at the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne 2018, we have asked the manufacturers what the current challenges of the industry are – and how they are reacting to them.

Will the customers of tomorrow possibly buy different products compared to today? And how will their buying behaviour change? Ute Schoone, Marketing & Product Manager DIY CE at MEM Bauchemie GmbH, answered: “The themes sustainability, environmental-friendliness and health are becoming increasingly more important to the end consumers. This applies on the one hand for the items and on the other for the packing. We are already taking this trend into account today. For example, part of our products are already today distinguished with the EMICODE EC 1 or EMOCODE EC 1 Plus and/or the Blue Angel label. We also see the theme of saving time or a lack of time as a further trend. The consumer wants to realise his projects as fast as possible. This applies for both the availability of the goods as well as the realisation of the project. We have already integrated products into our line-up today that save working steps or which excel through their fast load-bearing capacity.”

Comfort is becoming more significant

Abus KG sees a different customer focus – for the Marketing Director, Michael Bräuer, primarily the theme safety will be the key focus in the future: “In our opinion with regards to the theme of safety the aspects comfort and being connected will become increasingly more important in the coming years. Here, we already offer our trading partners corresponding stand-alone solutions as well as connected systems. However, as a training partner of the police we also know that there is a lot of potential in the “basic supply” sector: Since most households still don’t even dispose of a mechanical basic protection, which as a rule should be the main priority when talking about the theme safety.”

In the meantime, the fischer group, relies on cooperations: “After the façade insulation section, the interior insulation section is currently gaining enormous significance. This also brings new challenges with it for the fastening technology. We work closely together with the leading manufacturers of building materials and always develop “the specialists” for the respective building material,” stated Stefan Pelster-Hemesath, Sales Director DIY/Baustoffhandel Nord.

An extremely decisive trend for the industry – both now and in the coming years: online sales. Which significance the online trade currently already has and how the trend will develop is an elementary question for the industry – and it is already providing the answers: “The share of consumers, who not only inform themselves online, but also order online, is already growing rapidly today. The trade and the suppliers have to realign themselves jointly here for the future,” said Ute Schoone.

Opportunities for the bricks-and-mortar trade too

For Abus the online business has also become a part of everyday life. “Overall the online trade will increase, even if the themes multi-channel or omni-channel are not exactly new themes – indeed in both directions. Some customers inform themselves online and then buy the items from the stationary trade, some customers do it the other way round. However, in the case of certain products or line-ups the theme online does have its limits, i.e. when it comes down to the correct assembly or special services such as maintenance. That is also an issue where the bricks-and-mortar trade can score highly and in the meantime it is also active in manifold ways here,” explained Michael Bräuer.

At fischer one intends to involve the bricks-and-mortar trade more strongly: “The online trade faces us and the entire industry with new challenges. Here, the customers expect a more comprehensive offer compared to in stationary stores. For example, the online customer wants to be able to select from the entire product offer and not just from partial ranges. Here, together with the trade, we are already implementing solutions and will be able to offer further solutions in the future too. The online turnovers will continue to grow, which will lead to the trade and us offering additional services that the customer doesn’t find in the online trade sector,” stated Stefan Pelster-Hemesath.

Do it for me plus do it yourself?

And what are the major, decisive trends for the future? On the theme of online trade the manufacturers all agree – but also place the focus on even more challenges:

For instance Ute Schoone sees the biggest trend to be the shift of part of the business towards the online trade. “This is why MEM is placing the emphasis on the development of online-compatible concepts and the right contents. A further trend, which in our opinion is becoming evident is the theme do it for me. The end consumer is relying on the support of tradesmen more and more often, who are in some cases already liaised by the DIY store. Here, we have to adapt to a new clientele regarding knowledge transfer and training.”

According to Stefan Pelster-Hemesath, do it for me is also becoming a topic for fischer, “but of course there are additional services that the industry will offer the customers. And we are working on further solutions, which we can offer the DIY enthusiast together with the trade. The dowel finder app is just the first step here.”

Abus, as a supplier particularly of burglary protection and safety products, is faced with completely different challenges. “In the case of burglary protection and also personal safety in our opinion it is going to boil down to using one’s own initiative more and more, also against the background of the new living structures with more anonymity in everyday life. The key words here: Trend towards living in the big cities, single households and many – often work-related – moves. Perhaps the legislation will also take a step towards placing the emphasis more on the theme burglary protection. Regarding the theme of smoke detectors, this has already happened and perhaps the promotion of burglary protection measures by the KfW is a move in this direction,” commented Michael Bräuer.

Exciting insights into the future of an exciting industry – which you can look into in more detail at EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne in March – Ute Schoone, Stefan Pelster-Hemesath and Michael Bräuer are looking forward to interesting discussions on the DIY Boulevard.


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