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Three competitors in Denmark

Ditas, Dendek and Danske Trælast are three big groups that control the building materials branch in Denmark, both the professional and the DIY segments

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The storm of the century in December 1999, which devastated great areas of forest and thousands of houses, provided the Danish DIY market with a considerable burst of activity that to some degree continued right into the year 2001. Sales of building materials (capital expenditure both private and public) reached DKK 40 bn (5.38 bn euro) in 2001. DIY sales were scarcely affected by the fact that investment activity in the construction sector went down by around 16 per cent.
“The December storm helped us to achieve a high rate of growth in 2000, though last year we were also able to maintain a good turnover without any help from Mother Nature,” said Jörgen Andersen, chairman of TUN, the Danish association of timber and DIY stores with around 700 affiliated outlets. He expects a slight increase in the industrial and commercial construction industry for this year, even though either stagnation or a shortfall would be a more likely result in the case of private building activities. It is Andersen’s firm conviction that, “So long as the average Danish earner has to work four or five hours to pay the hourly rate of a joiner, plumber or painter, the general level of construction activity will scarcely have any influence on the DIY business, whether it goes up or down.”
Ditas, Dendek and Danske Trälast take around 90 per cent of the total turnover in the building materials retail trade. Last year ten members bailed out of Ditas and established their own buying organisation that goes by the name of Danby. Bygma is a cooperative of timber and DIY traders. This name is, however, not very well known, since the stores are operated under the names of individual companies. Four stores in Sweden are also affiliated to Bygma. Harald Nyborg, operator of the Jem & Fix DIY chain, also owns a mail order business with 14 outlets that are similar to Argos in the United Kingdom. And Danske Trælast is behind the Silvan DIY chain, which has six additional outlets in Sweden.
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