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Increase in sales by German home improvement retailers

2017 was a relatively quiet year for home improvement retailers in Germany. Sales in the domestic and foreign markets increased by over two per cent. However, the big rival player Amazon is looming on the horizon. At the International Hardware Fair in Cologne, the editorial team of the German trade magazine diy (Dähne Verlag) presented the first results of their renowned publication "Statistik Baumarkt + Garten D-A-CH 2018", which presents figures and analysis for the home improvement and garden sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

There were no massive surprises in the home improvement business in Germany in 2017. The top 20 German DIY store operators increased their sales at home and abroad by 741 mio euros in all to 31.269 bn euros, according to provisional figures from the diy editorial team. This equates to growth of 2.4 per cent. The rise in sales was more modest in relation to Germany alone, where the sales of the 20 biggest market players grew by 474 mio euros to 21.852 bn euros (up 2.2 per cent).

The undisputed number one among German home improvement retailers is Obi with total sales of 7.4 bn euros (Germany: 3.81 bn euros), followed by Bauhaus (6.38 bn euros; Germany: 3.68 bn euros) and Hornbach (4.53 bn euros; Germany: 2.43 bn euros). The biggest percentage increase in sales was recorded by DIY chain Kaes, which has 13 stores in all, with growth of 10.4 per cent. The highest absolute growth in sales both in and outside Germany was achieved by Hornbach (+230 mio euros) and - although only in relation to Germany - Globus (+77 mio euros).

Since 2002 the sales of the top 20 home improvement retailers in Germany have risen by 9.5 bn euros to 32.269 bn euros currently, equivalent to an increase of well over 40 per cent. This growth is due primarily to expansion abroad, however. While sales in Germany during the same period only increased by 3.2 bn euros to 21.852 bn euros (+17 per cent), sales in other countries increased by 6.1 bn euros to 9.682 bn. This is a percentage increase of an incredible 170 per cent.

The other key figures for the sector, number of stores and retail area, also evolved virtually in parallel with the sales figures in 2017. Within the year, the number of stores increased by 3.8 per cent to 4 165 locations and by as much as 4.7 per cent in Germany (3 324 stores). This was due to the rapid expansion of Fishbull with its Sonderpreis Baumarkt (discount DIY store) format, which opened 34 new small stores in Germany alone last year. It is interesting to note that just one newly opened Bauhaus store is nearly the same size as all of the new Sonderpreis Baumarkt stores opened in 2017.

The profitability per unit area of the DIY stores in 2017 was 1 546 euros/m², 16 euros less than in the previous year and precisely 50 euros less than back in 2002. The highest profitability per unit area was that of Hornbach at 2 310 euros/m², while the lowest was of the Sonderpreis Baumarkt stores at 909 euros/m². In total only five German home improvement retailers were above the average of 1 546 euros in 2017, with all the others falling below it.

| 5 March 2018

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