DIY & Home Improvement Conference

Further impetus for the Greek home and garden market

The general conditions for the Greek DIY market are more favourable than in many other European countries. At the 14th DIY & Home Improvement Conference in Athens, organised by Karydakis Media, there was talk of positive momentum for the sector.

Reshaping the landscape of modern retail, along with developments in tools and machinery, paints, building materials and equipment for home and garden – these were the topics highlighted by the 14th DIY & Home Improvement Conference organised for the Greek home improvement industry by Karydakis Media at the end of November at the Benaki Museum.

Praktiker Hellas was the gold sponsor of the conference. The event was also supported by the companies Bostik, Durostick, Heracles, Isomat, Kärcher, Leroy Merlin, Parkside (by Lidl) and Vector Brands.

For yet another year, the DIY & Home Improvement Conference served as a magnet for 230 participants from 70 Greek, Cypriot, and international companies. The event brought together executives from the top management level of major companies, with diverse delegations from all departments of leading retail chains.

Significant speakers from Greece, Belgium, and Finland conveyed market insights and shared experiences and considerations with the participants. The theme "Against Uncertainty" encapsulated the key axes around which the 14th DIY & Home Improvement Conference revolved.

The main conclusion from the event and the common theme in the majority of presentations was the positive momentum in the Greek market for the construction and home renovation sector. While the rest of Europe is experiencing a decrease in the number of building permits, Greece continues to see a steady increase. Additionally, with over a million "closed" properties, tax incentives for renovations and the impressive funding of 2.2 billion euros expected to enter the market through subsidised programmes for functional and energy upgrades of homes, further impetus will be given to the home improvement sector.

Indicative of consumer trends regarding homes was a survey presented by the founder of Focus Bari & Resilience Expert, Xenia Kourtoglou. She analysed how the constantly changing conditions influence the life, living environment, work and consumer habits of Greeks across different generations. According to the findings:

58 per cent of the audience feels great satisfaction when they repair or renovate things in their homes.

35 per cent of the audience states that the ideal evening for them is spent at home.

42 per cent of men declare that they are very skilled at repairing things at home.

The presentation by Erwin Van Osta, founder and CEO of Hubo, and keynote speaker of the conference was captivating. Drawing on the example of a Netflix series, he explained why “pay-per-use” services for renting equipment and software are the future in managing business operations. He also discussed ways to offer improved consumer services, develop skills in younger generations and create bonding and values within each company's personnel.

Piet De Coninck, the general manager of the Home Improvement Manufacturers Association (HIMA), emphasised the need for unity and the benefits it will bring to suppliers and market producers.

Chief design officer of Fiskars, Petteri Masalin, dedicated his presentation to the increasingly important role that product design plays in the R&D process of every company. Drawing inspiration from Finnish design thinking and having won numerous design awards, he spoke about a hybrid approach where engineers become designers and designers become engineers.

Luc Demeulenaere, from Shopperware, a Belgian commercial engineer, business consultant and expert in retail, especially on category management, disclosed every aspect of securing a customer-centric mindset.

Finally, Herman Konings, trend analyst, and consumer psychologist shed light on new, intelligent trends in retail, such as explainable AI and the Internet of Behaviours. As the inspirational speaker of the conference, he emphasised the importance of an authentic tech-free customer experience and the need to attract the new generation of consumers who are more impatient than ever.

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