Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

DIY retailers flourishing in central Europe

Published: 8 March 2012
According to a new report by market information company PMR, the number of DIY stores in central Europe has increased by 36% in the last four years.
DIY retailers flourishing in central Europe
That's despite a market downturn of 19% in the same period, according to the company. PMR predicts a further expansion of 12% in 2012 for DIY retailers, particularly those in Poland and Romania.

B&Q's parent company Kingfisher plc currently owns around 50 Castorama stores and six Brico Depot stores in Poland. It also operates several Hornbach DIY stores in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania.

PMR retail analyst Jaroslaw Frontczak said: "Poland is the leader by the number of new stores opened per year. However, the biggest percentage increase is observable in Romania, as it has almost doubled scorecount in the last four years, despite economic turmoil.

"On the other hand, the Czech Republic witnessed a 14% increase in the same period, which was affected by both the crisis and the long history of DIY retailers' presence in the country."

In contrast, new entries have almost entirely stopped in Hungary since 2008 due to the economic climate.

The report goes on to explain a "dynamic" expansion of DIY retail in Bulgaria and Romania. The boom in Bulgaria's DIY industry is reportedly due to high construction activity seen in the country between 2004 and 2008. Last year the country saw 43 stores opening.

Romania has seen the second largest expansion in central Europe, with DIY retailers' presence increasing by 43% since 2008.

While Jaroslaw Frontczak predicted further expansions in Poland, where an average of 27 new chain stores opened a year between 2000 and 2010, the expansion in the Czech Republic is expected to slow down. The Act on the Formation and Protection of the Built Environment (also known as the shopping mall ban) is also expected to impact on the number of Hungarian expansions towards the end of 2014.

Meanwhile the Slovak market has seen a 31% boom in DIY retailers, yet has been avoided by some of the largest international chains.

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