Screwfix store, Offenbach
Façade of the Screwfix store
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Screwfix’s catalogue store concept for DIY products has now arrived in Germany
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Screwfix opened its first four stores in Germany at the end of August in the region around Frankfurt am Main (Offenbach, Dreieich, Hanau and Koblenz). The concept is aimed at trade customers and professional DIYers, according to the company, and a trade card is not required to shop there. The catalogue and online store constitute the retail area, not the bricks-and-mortar premises; although the catalogue showroom includes a small “shop” featuring impulse articles and a “deal of the week”, the products play no part here. Located behind the sales counter is a logistically perfect (chaotically and dynamically organised) warehouse in which the goods – currently around 9 000 SKUs, to be increased later to 15 000 – await their purchasers.
The stock is geared to the needs of both DIY and trade professionals, and there is no value brand range. Screwfix offers a Click and Collect service for customers ordering via the Internet or by smartphone, with purchases ready for collection in store just five minutes later. Next-day delivery is now also possible, not just around the Frankfurt area but across the country on items ordered by 5 pm.
As well as tools, screws and nails, the product portfolio includes electrical, plumbing and heating supplies in a bid to replicate Screwfix’s success at home in the UK, where 4 500 employees work in around 350 stores. Bernd Hil­scher, general manager of Screwfix Germany, believes that this number of stores and staff is entirely feasible in Germany too. Hilscher is responsible for all the outlets of the latest Kingfisher subsidiary in the Federal Republic and is coordinating the market launch there as well as an expansion strategy. Any concept other than Screwfix would have made little sense in Germany, according to Kingfisher staff.
In Great Britain, the atypical development from mail order to bricks and mortar with its current cross-channel competence has led to strong expansion at Screwfix. The low cost of store construction resulting from a comparatively small retail area and the option of online ordering since 1999 have enabled the Kingfisher subsidiary to grow continuously.
Since the company sees Screwfix closing an existing gap in the German home improvement sector, its perceived main competitors are likely to be…
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