6th Global DIY Summit

Annemarie Harte travelled to Barcelona to represent HAI and The Hardware Journal at the 6th annual Global DIY Summit.

This year I attended the 6th Global DIY Summit in Barcelona between the 12th and 14th June. This was my third time attending and – as a media partner to the Summit – The Hardware Journal receives free registration as well as the opportunity to display copies of our magazine to delegates. It proves a popular choice and extends our reach into Europe and the globe with news and information about the Irish market. This year’s Summit theme was “DIY NEXT – Reinventing our industry”, and over the two days of the formal programme, delegates heard presentations on digital platforms as new business models worldwide, UK and global political and economic forecasts, how a company should start its own digital transformation, new kinds of cooperation between suppliers and retailers, and an overview of home improvement stores around the world. The general perception of the global economy was positive and most of the speakers forecast more innovation and growth to come in the near future.

One of the highlights on the first day was the Head of Strategic Business Development at The Home Depot (HD), Matt Schweickert, with his impressive keynote “Home
Improvement in the Age of Retail Disruption”. Matt has overall responsibility for the formulation, planning and execution of HD’s corporate strategy. Although granted the Irish online retail environment is not anywhere near as advanced as our cousins in the US, Matt believes the continually evolving landscape will result in only a handful of regularly-shopped retailers. Retail however shouldn’t ditch the store despite all the hype about its pending death to online.

*Newsflash* Research from the US has shown that millennials love retail but that their behaviour has shifted from previous generations – what may once have been 12 regular committed store visits has decreased to nine. So, consumers are being more selective based on an improved customer experience. What does that look like?

  1. Improved delivery – ignore click and collect at your peril.
  2. Seamless checkout process – self-service, easy process.
  3. Personalised experience – tailored content.

Home Depot must continue to keep pace with the changing environment. Those that don’t evolve become extinct. Schweickwert asserts that the Home Improvement playbook that worked four years ago, will not work for the next four plus years (see figure 1). HD is committed to meeting customers’ expectations and engaging with them seamlessly across all channels. Their commitment is shown in their increased investment in this area – over the next three years, HD will nearly double their investment to position itself for the future (see figure 2).

Figure 1
Figure 2

HD’s five strategic avenues (see figure 3) will drive future company growth and include:

  1. Stores – drive greater convenience and speed for customers.
  2. Employees (Associates) – maintain a competitive and agile workforce.
  3. Product & Innovation – maintain position as number one retailer in product authority.
  4. Trade (Pro) & Services – deliver one integrated approach for their trade customers.
  5. Supply Chain & Delivery – offer fastest and most efficient delivery in home improvement.
Figure 3