Seedling workshop on the opening day of the "Obi Machbar" at the “longest workbench in the world”.
Seedling workshop on the opening day of the "Obi Machbar" at the “longest workbench in the world”.
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Inner-city location

Obi’s DIY bar

The German industry leader Obi opened the “Obi Machbar” in the centre of Cologne, an urban DIY concept store – with the longest workbench in the world
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The “Obi Machbar” is a play on words: on the one hand, it can be roughly translated as “the Obi make-it bar”, but also as “Obi – feasible”. The first “Obi Machbar” already existed in Vienna in June 2018: “Obi Machbar” was announced as the company’s first “pop-up creative workshop”. As part of a city festival, Germany’s largest DIY store operator presented its new concept with its diverse range of workshops and events for the first time on around 400 m² in the Austrian capital.

But why in Austria of all places? In 2017, Obi had founded a unit in Cologne under the name “Obi next” and under the leadership of Sebastian Gundel, now a member of the executive board, to transform the company, according to the press release at the time, “into the leading customer-oriented cross-channel DIY store operator”. The first national market to implement and test new business models was to be Austria. Consequently, the new concept was also implemented there for the first time. Subsequently, the Obi Machbar concept went on tour with eight stations in Austria and Germany.

Workshops and events

Almost four years later, the next shop opened in a shopping street in the middle of Cologne on 5 March 2022 under the name “Obi MachBar” (with a capital B). According to Obi, the “bar” is the “smallest DIY store in Cologne” and at the same time the DIY store operator’s first DIY concept store. On around 250 m², a “unique experience workshop in Germany” was created, according to the official invitation to the opening. According to Obi, the aim is to make DIY an experience in the inner-city environment. The focus is to be on the changing monthly programme of workshops and events created by Obi trend experts, where participants can get creative themselves. Falcon Stienen, who has been with Obi since July 2016 and is now its head of brand communication, is jointly responsible for the concept of Obi Machbar.

The new concept will initially run for twelve months. The shop offers a permanent DIY assortment geared to the metropolitan clientele as well as a themed product selection that changes monthly. From the street, you have a good, deep view into the store. The eye is caught by the variable tables in the middle of the room which, when put together, according to Stienen, make “the longest workbench in the world”. In addition, numerous individual solutions were implemented, such as a workshop, a seedling exchange, a “colourful bag”, a decoration room and more.

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