Sales area and stores in Italy, GDS Report
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Stability comes to Italy

The DIY retailers south of the Alps are growing again. In 2018 the number of DIY stores increased for the fourth year in a row
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As in previous years, the Italian industry service has published its detailed GDS Report on the Italian home improvement and garden market. According to this, the number of DIY stores in Italy increased to 757 in 2018, equivalent to growth of 2.6 per cent or 19 stores compared with the previous year. Retail area grew by 84 704 m² in 2018. Following the contraction of the Italian home improvement market in the recession years between 2011 and 2014, it has now stabilised, recording modest growth for the fourth year in a row.
At the same time, however, the country's growth dynamic since 2008 has remained well below the level of the years preceding this. Whereas around 54 new stores were opening per year between 1999 and 2008, this rate was down to four new stores per year between 2009 and 2018. Between 2011 and 2014 the Italian DIY market contracted by 67 stores in all. In the last four years, between 2015 and 2018, 21 new stores per year have been added to the total.
A hiatus in the growth dynamics is also evident with regard to the trend in the overall retail area. Between 1999 and 2008, roughly 121 500 m² was being added on average each year; between 2009 and 2018 this fell to approximately 47 000 m². From 2014 to 2018, only around 62 000 m² of new retail area was being added each year.
As the report clearly shows, the north of Italy is served disproportionately well by home improvement stores, accounting for 50.1 per cent of all stores and 56.8 per cent of the total retail area in 2018. The centre of the country, which also contains the Rome metropolitan area, was home to 23.6 per cent of all stores and 21.2 per cent of the retail area nationwide. Southern Italy and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily together accounted for 22 per cent of the overall retail area in 2018.
The principal operator in Italy is the French outfit Groupe Adeo with its main distribution channel Leroy Merlin, retail area 408 000 m². The number two is also a foreign company, the German chain Obi with roughly 242 000 m². In the middle, with a retail area of between 150 000 and 170 000 m², are the companies Brico Io, Brico OK, Bricocenter, Bricofer, Bricolife and Bricoman (likewise Adeo). According to diyandgarden, there were 24 different home improvement…
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