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Berlin as European DIY metropolis

The fourth BHB International DIY Store Congress in Berlin on 16 and 17 April offered the approximately 530 delegates a programme that was interesting and varied, though densely packed

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In his welcome address Manfred Maus, BHB president and chairman of OBI’s supervisory board, summarised the spirit of DIY retailing in its entirety as a means of “conveying a feeling of security”. But his vision for the International DIY Store Congress was moving in another direction. “That we should meet here together with craftsmen, architects, banks and systems service providers, that is my vision for this congress.” For the trend is moving ever more in the direction of “buy-it-yourself” instead of “do-it-yourself”. Here it is essential to bundle together all the strengths of the sector, whether in Germany or in Europe.
Around 530 delegates gleaned information about the latest developments in the industry.
The approximately 530 delegates to this year’s congress in the Maritim Pro Arte were able to increase their knowledge of current developments in the industry. Internationalism was the order of the day. Alongside the two surprise guests from South America, six more speakers had been enlisted: Jean-Philippe Bahar of Castorama, Anders Moberg (ex Ikea and ex Home Depot), Urs Jordi of the Coop’s Bau und Hobby, Switzerland, George Adams of B&Q, Jim Lowe of the British Focus group and Martin Essl of Baumax. The two South American guests, Guillermo Aguero, president of the Chilean DIY group Sodimac S.A., and Peter Pohlmann, managing director of Poco Holding GmbH, which does DIY retail business in Chile and Argentina with Cencosud, were almost predestined to be stars in their own right in Berlin, having succeeded in eliminating Home Depot from their respective countries.
Anders Moberg, to the relief of many, was there solely in his capacity as a former Home Depot manager.
About 30 talks, discussion rounds and forums were offered during the two days. They included talks by experts that offered quite some material for discussion. Among the speakers were Michael Kliger of McKinsey, Ursula König of Heads, Dr Alan Barton of the Rohm and Haas Company, Professor Dr. Wolf-Rüdiger Bretzke of KPMG Consulting AG and Ulrich Eggert of BBE management consultancy. In four wake-up sessions on the Wednesday morning starting at 8 a.m. (!), and in seven different forums – one of which had to be repeated because of the tremendous demand – ten further speakers made their appearance.
Some of those taking part in the DIY store tour at the new Pluta garden centre in Ludwigsfelde, Berlin.
A first-time event on the programme was a DIY store and garden centre tour, organised jointly by…
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