Netherlands: DIY profits from economic boom


Nothing but news of positive developments has been coming from the Netherlands over recent years, which ties in with the current phase of prosperity

Though it has in the past been maintained that do-it-yourself is an activity that is only carried out when the economy hits a low, just the opposite was proved in 2000. Despite there being no precise figures available at the moment, experts in the trade are prophesying that the sales performance of the DIY market in the Netherlands is stationary at 3.86 bn euro (NLG 8.5 bn). The reason for this is clear: doing something yourself saves money, and though the Dutch DIYer has to spend a certain amount, he prefers to use what he has saved by tackling the job himself for going on holiday.
This does not however mean that he cuts back on quality. Branded goods are much in demand, for whenever something is purchased it should be of good quality.
It is not yet clear how the economic situation will continue to develop. Optimism still holds sway, but some manufacturers have revised their profit forecasts downward. Which could be an indication for the future in the final year of the guilder.
Development of DIY superstores
In comparison with the previous year the number of stores has again increased somewhat. One conspicuous development is the consolidation of Gamma to 137 DIY stores, with a retail area enlarged by about 30 000 m² according to information from the group. The market leader had a change on its board, with Robert Sinke departing and Bram Huibers (formerly of Praxis, Groen-Blok and Intratuin) arriving. Karwei, the number three, increased its number of DIY stores by three to 81 and total retail area by 27 000 m². Following the departure of Marktkauf from the Dutch marketplace, Formido has moved up from fifth place to fourth with 84 stores and a total retail area of around 85 000 m².
The greatest amount of growth was achieved by Praxis and Multimate. Last year Praxis opened twelve DIY superstores, though nine of these are former branches of the Dutch Marktkauf chain, which was taken over by the Praxis group on 1 January 2000, and have now been reformatted as Praxis outlets. Multimate opened eleven new stores and so comes to a total of 45. Otherwise there were no outstanding changes in terms of figures. One potential new player announced its presence in the Netherlands DIY market: Leroy Merlin purchased a piece of land in Middelburg, though it is not yet known when exactly the French multiple will open its first DIY store in the Netherlands.
There were scarcely any changes among the small-format DIY stores with a floorspace of less than 1 000 m². Hubo had to part with four stores, ending the year 2000 with 233 stores. In contrast to this Doeland, which is also a member of the HDB group, opened two stores and consequently increased its total to 123. Fixet Klusmarkt, the number three, counted a total of 83 stores after one new opening.
DIY in Europe 1-2/2001
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