The incessant price war is another reason for the appearance of worry lines on many a forehead, especially since the abolition of the law on discounts is opening up new horizons. These have meanwhile been recognised in yet another field in the German DIY retail sector, where discount and customer cards are increasingly gaining in significance. But the more the number of cards grows, the more probable it becomes that the whole exercise will simply turn into a zero-sum game for the participants.
The fact that a clear differentiation through price alone can never be the solution is shown by DIY groups that are going for internal growth, by means of increasing staff productivity and introducing state-of-the-art computerised merchandise information and logistics systems. However, opportunities for growth are also promised by expansion into international markets such as those of central and eastern Europe, where the German DIY retail groups are now very much involved.
Sylvia Herzog, DIY in Europe Germany