DIY-chains of Netherlands - Jos de Vries The Retail Company study trip

From 26 to 29 October 2009 Russian retailers were on a business seminar to DIY-chains of the Netherlands.
Business tour was organized by design-bureau Jos de Vries The Retail Company. During the trip we talked with leading DIY representatives and visited the shops. Here we would like to share our observations with you.

About the Dutch DIY market
Market of DIY shops in the Netherlands is considered to be one of the most competitive in Europe. Annual turnover of the country's DIY market is about 10 billion Euros. There more than 450 only chain supermarkets and hypermarkets. And this is on the area slightly larger than the Moscow region and with the population of 17 million people. The situation makes the chains constantly monitor the actions of competitors and to change accordingly. However the retailers who communicated with us say that lately the chains are looking more at each other and not on the market. And difference between brands and formats, as well as between the prices becomes smaller. During the trip we saw these approaches at work.
There are a few general trends: the Dutch DIY chains have a clear organizational structure and logistics. Small, in comparison with Russia range, up to 20,000 items. On the shelves are just the better selling positions. Minimal storage space - to store goods is too expensive, orders are done automatically and delivered with 98% accuracy.

Key players in the market:
Intergamma (Gamma chain and Karwei) 35%
Maxeda (Praxis chain and Formido) 28%
DGN (Multimate chain, Doehand, Hubo) 10%
Hornbach 5%
Other shops - 22%

No doubt that the chains will continue to change. The crisis clearly affects the situation. Experts estimated reduction in turnover by 10%. Some market players adjust the range trying to please the customer - Bicycles and TV`s were not previously included in the assortment. From meetings with managers, we realized that today it is still the price buyers are looking at. And then the best one wins!

We visited several stores of Karwei chain. The shop (see the photos) submitted by an area of 4400 sq. meters (including storage), 40 employees, average bill is 40 euro and about 2,200 customers a week.
Several years ago, the chain has made its main assortment decorative rather than constructive. Today, about 50% of the assortment is designed for decoration and home furnishing. The chain is counting on female shoppers and varies from the standard (gray shelves, quiet shades in design) to design - the black heads of racks for promotional items, bright big names of departments, a clear visualization of goods and merchandising.

The chain has 138 DIY stores, some of them have a garden center (the objects were bought from a German Marktkauf). We visited several sites including the best in the country in terms of turnover store area of 12,000 sq. + 4.000 meters square. meters garden center. In the year store serves 500,000 customers, average bill is 35 euro. Praxis differs from the other players because it has no own DC, all products come from suppliers, 4 stock employees receive 30 trucks. The store employs 150 staff, a 100 of them have full-time contract. In the sales area chain earns 1,600 euro a square meters in the garden center - 800 euro.

Gamma chain making emphasis on the sale of building materials, has opened 158 stores in the Netherlands and Belgium. We visited several sites, including the standard shop Gamma, near the city of Utrecht - the fourth largest city in the Netherlands. In the suburbs of Utrecht before the crisis very extensive building was carried out, which is now according to the prognosis for the next three years will be reduced. Shop area is 5600 square meters. It receives 425 customers a day, average bill is 47 euro. Turn of the shop assortment 2 weeks, the margin is 32%.

All the participants of a business tour liked this shop with a small sells area as well as its owner. Chain Hubo operates 200 stores and the work is built on the principle of co-operative union. The central organization makes purchases for the chain and receives the bonus on volume. The chain has dozens of shops, but also private entrepreneurs. They buy the main range from the parent organization and pay 4000 euro per year as a contribution. THE shop we visited has two floors, 800 square meters and is located in a small village, with 15,000 inhabitance. On the first floor of the entire range of Hubo - hardware, spare parts for tools, paint, corners, etc. It is believed that if the master requires a pair of screws Hubo is ideal store for him. Competitors do not sell screws individually. On the second floor the owner arranged its range and services - kitchens, furniture, built-in wardrobes and promotion services for installation, painting, etc. In addition to trading activities, the owner of the shop provides services for painting, maintenance and repair of buildings, cutting wood, and has established links with various specialists to repair.

German chain Hornbach - DIY-the only foreign player in the Netherlands. Now in the country 9 hypermarkets are working. Thanks to the advertising, the buyers got the impression that this is the cheapest DIY shop. In practice this is not always the case. Nevertheless, during our visit there were a lot of buyers.
Hornbach is closest to Russia's DIY shops concept - a wide range 30-40.000 articles, with a high-rise storage racks of commodity stocks. There are several unique features. Trade Hall is divided into 3 parts: immediately after the entrance to the center - a decorative range of products, the right side of the shop - range of construction (and, if a customer buys a large batch or special large door it will be delivered on the special truck to his car to the parking). Left to the building an open garden center is adjusted.

According to our observations, today more than ever the client is focused on price when choosing store. Dutch DIY market is highly saturated with stores. Just in a radius of 5-6 km a buyer finds a competing store, if it is something he disliked in the first. So things are going better for chains that offer an interesting variety and good price.

Irina Bolotova
Jos de Vries The Retail Company

Luca FloorFashion store concept focusing on instore communation

In coorporation with Retail Bouw Management Jos de Vries The Retail Company has designed and developed the first pilot store of Luca Floor Fashion (part of Tegelgroep Nederland). Luca Floor Fashion is the place when you are looking for the latest trends and specials on floors. It has become a store where you can find everything on floors, you can experience, judge and purchase of floors. A true shopping experience: fashionable floors of only sustainable and honoust materials, like ceramic, nature stone of wood, available in many types, sizes and colours. Everything shown from an easy accesible concept. You won´t see bath rooms and kitchens but only special floors.

The Luca FloorFashion store opened her doors last April. The company has choosen for a special image, using instore communication as styling and communication media.
The special instore graphice of the store can be seen directly entering the store (located at the Van Slingelandtstraat in Amsterdam). Above the reception, also the cash collection point, you can see on of the new screens of LG. This LCD screen shows movies related to the brand of Luca Floorfashion.
The heart of the store exists of a catwalk. At the end of the catwalk there is a big projection screen where many different applications can be seen. There are two additional screens inside the store. One of the screens is placed near floor heating, here it shows how the system works. The other screen is placed in the special “creation zone”. Juliëtte Renard, Store Manager of Luca Floorfashion, explains the idea of the special zone “Clients consider it to be difficult to obtain an image of how the floor looks like in their house. We have more than four hundres different tiles in this store and these are all collected in the computer. In the creation zone the clients can look in an interactive manner how the desired floor looks like in their house.

French retailer Casino opens hypermarket focusing on female clients

French supermarket and hypermarket chain Casino has opened a new hypermarket under the brand name Géant Casino. This new hypermarket is located in the french city of Montpellier. With the design of the hypermarket the retailer is being focused on the wishes and demands of the female customers. The hypermarket has a total surface of 12.000m2 and with the new format the retailer has choosen for a new strategy of the store format. The store opened is hypermarket 115 of the retailer chain.

The new store concept has a different zone for private brands fresh produce. Furthermore there is a female focus on the textile- , household and leisure department, focusing on the price-quality level. The design of the hypermarket focuses on these fresh produce and the non-food products are grouped based on “moments of use”.

Colruyt opens first DreamLand-store in France

Colruyt opened the 12th of September its first DreamLand store in France. The new store is located in Leers, which is near the Belgian border, close to Roubaix.
The DreamLand store in France is store number 30 of this chain. DreamLand is a daughter of the Colruyt Group. In 1978 this company started as toys store, the DreamLand formula nowadays is a leisure shop concept for the younger and older consumer.

A store concept like DreamLand is a totally new concept for France. In France there are toys stores and hypermarkets, but almost nothing in between. DreamLand has already plans to opens its second store in France, in Douai.

Colruyt is already active in France for several years, with supermarkets and as cash&carry. The chain is known for its low pricing, flat organisation structure and a down to earth mentality, all ingredients for the success of the Colruyt formula.

Jos de Vries The Retail Company developed the current store concept together with DreamLand. The information described below concerns the first store and further roll-out of this store concept. The pictures are from the first renovated store with the new store concept in Belgium.

Together with Dreamland points that needed to be improved had been described, a different routing had to be optimalized with strong focus points and clear entrances.
The check-out zone has been separated from the entrance zone, the client can easily enter the store, also at busy days.

At the DreamBaby-shop the assortiment was beter grouped to easen the search of the consumers. Next to the improvement of the routing and presentation, it was also important to make the new DreamLand identity more recognizable at the facade and inside the store. Together with the client we checked every part of the store. Our client was very realistic about the status and the improvements that needed to take place, a concrete and practical way of working of DreamLand.

here to go back to the homepage of Jos de Vries The Retail Company.

Block electrostore new store concept: optimalization of lay-out,routing and instore-graphics

Block Electrostore is one of the biggest chains of specialized electrostores in The Netherlands and has stores in the whole Randstad. Block is a family owned- company, founded in 1955. The company has 28 stores in 2009 and is managed by the five sons of the founder. Back in 1990 the company developed a store concept focusing on the floor and the ceiling with a light plan. The store concept was succesfull for a longer period, but the company was in need of a new store concept. The store in Hilversum needed an optimalization of the lay-out, routing and instore-graphics. Jos de Vries The Retail Company was asked to develop that.

Entering the new store in Hilversum you can directly see the brand wall, placed above the shelve presentations. The brand wall is a white strip with grey texts and lighted with coloured lights. The clients are better able to find their preferred department, the white goods department is indicated with blue light (refrigerators, washing machines, dryers) and using orange colour the client can see the brown goods department (tv´s, audio and household equipment).

To increase the traceability of the products at the (low) gondolas in the store for some products, sub-groups, indications have been made. This accounts for example for navigation articles, car radios and mobile dvd players. These products are presented next to each other.

To seduce the clients to visit the whole store there are installed “screen bulletins”, these “screen bulletins” (foreseen of LED lighting) shows texts and brand names. By placing these screen bulletins there is more movement and dynamics in the store.

Working together with Jos de Vries The Retail Company resulted into the contact with Retail Bouw Management. A retail design agency and a retail building management company under one roof made the development of the new concept clarifying. //

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