First quarter 2021: -50 per cent

Sales in German home improvement stores up by 14 per cent during 2020

"A good but challenging year": queue at a German DIY store in spring 2020.
"A good but challenging year": queue at a German DIY store in spring 2020.

DIY stores in Germany increased their sales in 2020 by 13.8 per cent compared with the previous year to EUR 22.14 bn. Figures for the sector were released by the German industry association BHB at a digital press conference, confirming those released in advance back in December. "It was a very good year for us, with extremely good results," said Franz-Peter Tepaß, BHB president and CEO of Obi Germany, summarising this "challenging and demanding year", as he termed it.
Like-for-like sales in the sector in Germany rose by 14.1 per cent. According to statistics from the BHB, there were 2 095 DIY stores (with more than 1 000 m² of retail area) at the end of the year, with retail space totalling 13 235 mio m². This was eleven stores fewer, but only 8 000 m² of retail area less than at the start of 2020.
The sector commenced the current year with sales down approximately 50 per cent in the first quarter. This was due to the lockdown, which affected DIY stores up to mid-March. Unlike spring 2020 and in contrast to other countries, home improvement stores were not classed as essential in this phase.In e-commerce, the trend in the sales figures for DIY and garden products was even better. Sales of DIY ranges soared by 25.3 per cent in 2020 to EUR 3.65 bn, while garden product sales increased by as much as 30.9 per cent to EUR 1.51 bn and building material sales rose by 17.5 per cent to EUR 268 mio. E-commerce thus brought in a total of EUR 4.97 bn (+26.5 per cent).
The strongest quarter as a whole were the months from April to June, where sales grew by 22.5 per cent. This was where the travel ban and the homing urge had a particularly strong impact, according to the BHB.
Looking at range development, it is also clear that Germans extended and beautified their homes as a retreat during the year of the pandemic. The top performers in sales growth within assortments were coating materials/painting accessories (+27.4 per cent), followed by garden equipment products (+26.9 per cent) and the timber and garden furniture segments (each up by 24.8 per cent). The only segment showing a downturn was the automotive segment.
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