Global Hardware Market Updates

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Global Hardware Market Updates

In this month’s global news, hardware giant Ace Hardware announces that they will replace their retiring president and general manager in April, Sweden’s DYI retailer Byggmax grows by 28.7% and a report by Idealo showed that “Do it yourself” and “Gardening” we the most search products online in 2020 in Italy. 

Read more below

Ace International Replaces Retiring Company President.  

Ace Hardware Corp. announced Jan. 25 that Ace International is replacing its retiring president and general manager in April.

Jay Heubner, current president and general manager of Ace Hardware’s international subsidiary, will retire March 1 after 38 years with the company.

Effective April 5, David Goh will replace Heubner in the role. Goh is currently managing director of Robinsons Retail Holdings, one of the largest multiformat retail companies in the Philippines. Robinsons has a diverse brand portfolio that includes grocery stores, do-it-yourself stores, drugstores, department stores and convenience stores.

Prior to joining Ace International, Goh held several leadership positions across various industries, including a vice president position at Singapore Airlines, CEO of 7-Eleven Singapore and CEO of Cold Storage, a grocery chain throughout Singapore. Goh and his family will relocate from the Philippines to Singapore to be closer to Ace International’s highest growth regions.

“David has a remarkable track record of success in growing businesses and transforming the customer experience,” said John Venhuizen, President/CEO at Ace Hardware Corp.

Ace Hardware is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, and serves more than 5,300 locally owned and operated hardware stores in about 70 countries.

Byggmax Grows by Almost 29 Per Cent in 2020

The Swedish DIY retail group Byggmax achieved a turnover of 6.801 billion SEK (675 million euros) in 2020, a growth of 28.9 per cent. Adjusted for currency and like-for-like effects, the Group’s sales rose by 28.5 per cent. In the fourth quarter, sales increased by 28.7 per cent to 1.222 billion SEK (121 million euros).

Online revenues grew by around 60 per cent; in 2020 this was around 50 per cent. The online business had a share of around 20 per cent over the year as a whole. “Our model of integrating e-commerce and markets enables faster growth,” says the annual report. “Order online, collect in store has grown much faster than home delivery and is one of the strengths of our 169 stores, and online sales typically increase by 15 percent where a new store is opened.”

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”

Do It Yourself and Gardening the most Searched Products Online in 2020.  

In its annual report idealo, the leading international portal in Europe for price comparisons, examined the year 2020 from the point of view of online shopping. Part of the report focused on understanding how the pandemic affected the purchases of Italians.

2020 was a special year for e-commerce with an increase in research and interest in online purchases equal to + 98.7%. This was due to the necessary restrictions initiated to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The long days spent at home during the lockdown led to the rediscovery of the Italians’ passion for furniture, DIY, plant care and the arrangement of their gardens and balconies. In fact, in 2020 the product categories that grew the most were those related to Furniture and Gardening (+ 190.5%) with awnings, garden chairs, outdoor pools and Barbecues all selling well.

The most active online in 2020 were men (60.6% versus 39.4% of women), between the ages of 25 and 34 (25.0%). They carried out searches mainly from mobiles (67.5%), using an Android device (78.0%), on Sundays and in the time slot between 21h and 23h.

DIY Centers see + 22% Sales in December Compared to the Previous Quarter.  

The month of December and the Christmas holidays brought a wave of optimism to the retail market, supporting the operators of physical stores that were heavily impacted by the lockdowns in response to Covid-19. 

The home improvement sector recorded an encouraging + 22% growth in December, in comparison to September-November 2020. In fact, the last month of the year saw a significant increase in sales in numerous product sectors including books(+71%), beauty(+66%), consumer electronics (+52%) and fashion (+37%).

The data was found as part of the latest analysis by the Stocard Observatory, which compared the purchasing trends in the retail markets of December 2020 compared to the period September-November.

Bricomarché, Bricorama and Brico Cash show Double Digit Growth.    

The hardware store division of the French retail group Les Mousquetaires, with the chains Bricomarché, Bricorama and Brico Cash achieved a turnover of 3.97 billion euros in 2020 in France and abroad. In France, the three sales divisions had sales of 3.2 billion euros, an 11 per cent increase on the previous year. 

Their combined market share increased by 0.7 percentage points to 15.10 per cent. According to a press release, the growth here was driven in particular by the garden and decoration ranges. While the first curfew in the spring had a particularly unfavourable effect, the reopening of stores was very beneficial.

In addition, e-commerce and drive-in offers contributed to the good performance. The bricoprivé.com platform, in which the group is involved, had sales of around EUR 187 million in 2020. In the last quarter alone the increase was 68 per cent.

The Bricomarché brand also reported high growth in its international business. The growth in Poland was given at 13.3 per cent, and in Portugal at 20.8 per cent.

The three DIY sales brands of the Les Mousquetaires group currently have 855 points of sale. 679 Bricomarché stores (465 in France, 43 in Portugal and 171 in Poland), 41 Brico Cash stores in France and 135 Bricorama stores in France and one in Georgia.

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