Mélanie and Vincent Ghekière, Stock-Ath
Mélanie and Vincent Ghekière from Stock-Ath represent the young generation in the Belgian industry and the focus on service.
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Benelux - Belgium

Young wolves in Belgium

Industry expert Thierry Coeman delivers an update of the Belgian home improvement universe and, as part of his enquiries, speaks to representatives of a promising young generation, as he calls them
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Since the latest edition of the trade fair DIY-Pro-Garden in Kortrijk, the Belgian home improvement universe has proven its ability to embark on a real transformation process. It is currently riding three trend waves: the mutual convergence of the three segments DIY, including the professional and construction market; the stores' IT integration; and the development from a transaction to service business model.
In accordance with these far-reaching changes, several Belgian retailers are pursuing their transformation with new business models which are adapted to POS: Hubo, in particular with its Plafomat brand, Maxeda with its Brico Plan It brand as well as Mr. Bricolage with the Alexandre DIY-Pro concept in Nivelles, Waterloo and Breine-L'alleud.
These three examples underpin the emergence of the service model, in particular the expansion of the rental service, custom-made products (cutting, metalwork), the many payment methods, delivery to construction sites, repair services and after-sales services. These developments - nourished by the unstoppable path of e-commerce - have strengthened both competitiveness (particularly in logistics) as well as the competition (chain stores, the independents segment, discounters and specialist stores). The field of home improvement is quite fundamentally no longer controlled by the classic retail concept.
Belgium remains a veritable testing laboratory in which both new concepts (for example Brico in Waterloo) as well as safe values (such as Stock-Ath or Wara) expand their offer for the "prosumer", the hybrid DIY-professional customer, in a retail universe which has become holistic.

Figures and market shares

The home improvement market in Belgium is worth somewhat more than EUR 3 bn, not including e-commerce. The official statistics spread less representative figures which do not include organised trade, nor even the independent retailers, specialist trade and the non-food retailers, who have all expanded their DIY assortment.
In concrete terms, the top 4 - soon to be the top 3, Hubo Group (more about that below), Maxeda Belgium and Gamma Belgium - make up 35 per cent of the market. The independents together are worth more than EUR 1 bn, the "pure players" segment is estimated to be EUR 400 to 450 mio. When it comes to market development, the Belgian experts confirm that the market persists on its status quo, as everywhere, so neither growth nor decline compared to the previous years.
When it comes to market shares, all eyes are…
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