Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

World of home improvement meets again in Copenhagen

Published: 14 June 2022 - Neil Mead

The world of home improvement has just returned for the 8th Global DIY-Summit, which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 8 to 10 June 2022.


At the end of the 8th Global DIY-Summit, the delegates, using the in-app voting tool, rated this event an overwhelming 81% as 'very good' to 'excellent' with a further 18% rating the event as 'good'. Approximately 900 delegates from 55 countries attended the congress, which included over 280 of the top retailers in our sector from around the world.

Due to the highly multicultural audience attending the Summit this year, perhaps due to international travel reopening, the Voting Tool produced some interesting results. Our audience was predominantly male, at 72% of the total number of delegates. This year over 31% of the audience were retailers, whilst suppliers are still the largest share among the different type of attendees: approximately 55% of the delegates were manufacturers.

Moreover, companies not necessarily working in the industry, or at least not 100% related to it (for example: consultancy firms, trade fair organisations, universities, etc.) also showed a growing participation at 15% of the total.

It was most encouraging for us as organisers that the delegates using the voting tool labelled our congress to be a world-class event. The next and 9th Global DIY-Summit will be held in Berlin, Germany, from 14 to 16 June 2023. Over 65% of delegates have already confirmed their participation to next year’s Summit.

Opening of the 8th Global DIY-Summit 2022 in Copenhagen

On Wednesday the 8th of June, delegates were given the opportunity to attend a Store Tour of Copenhagen, visiting a range of traditional to new and exciting home improvement retailers, including one store pioneering sustainability through re-furbished building materials. Visiting some exceptionally professionally managed stores, delegates were thrilled to learn how chains such as Stark, Silvan, and BAUHAUS, as well as established franchises such as XL-BYG and discounters such as jem & fix, continue to adapt and innovate to satisfy their customers’ evolving needs and engage them in a competitive urban environment. In total 330 delegates took part in the store tour, consisting of six buses visiting six top-quality DIY stores.

Three workshops, focused on driving high productivity in business, remaining relevant in times of disruption, and driving incremental sales on Amazon, gave delegates the opportunity to work in an interactive atmosphere. These workshops, including one run by industry icon Jim Inglis, were a resounding success, with all attendees coming away with new insights into how to manage their businesses most successfully.

The 8th Global DIY-Summit bought the industry back together again after 3 long years with the Get- Together on Wednesday night in the exhibition area. The jubilant mood, born from reuniting the industry, was palpable; as retailers, suppliers, consultants, and industry stakeholders networked and re-connected.

THE NEW NORMAL - Adapting to a Rapidly Changing World

The focal theme of the 8th Global DIY-Summit was “THE NEW NORMAL - Adapting to a Rapidly Changing World”. Internationally renowned speakers gave outstanding and thought-provoking presentations on personalization and using data to deliver personalized experiences, the future of marketplaces and rise of digital ecosystems, open innovation and creating a collaborative culture in business, the age of responsibility going beyond CSR, home improvement retail trends, and the future of the home improvement industry worldwide. We have all experienced the turbulent period of covid- 19, which has dominated recent years, as well as its knock-on effects on supply chains. However, it is vital that these hurdles are not isolated. Considering the myriad of external and internal pressures, the DIY, home improvement and garden industry has to act now to ensure its relevancy and success moving forwards.

On the opening day, Mark Herbek (Cleveland Research Company) presented the Future of U.S. Home Improvement in a Post Covid-19 / Normal Supply Chain World, echoing that “when the U.S. sneezes, the world catches a cold”. The high expectations for the presentation from the Managing Director of Bunnings Group, Michael Schneider, were fulfilled with his impressive opening keynote; “Always Evolving… Markets, Offers and People.” Delegates were delighted with the particularly interactive sessions from world-renowned speakers Ken Hughes and Rik Vera, these being highlights of the first day, along-side the session focused on the Future of Marketplaces, including AI and social commerce in an ever more digital and connected world, with Nils Zündorf (factor-a), Tobias Pohl (Google), Veronica Civiero (Meta) and Victoria Neuhofer (Neuhofer Holz).

Ken Hughes retook to the stage to open the session on Open Innovation, with innovation Director at AkzoNobel, Menno van der Zalm, his interlocutor in “Giving New Ideas the best Chance of Success.” Three start-ups, who were each part of the “Paint the Future” global startup challenge, presented their future-orientated developments and how collaborative innovation is transforming the paints and coatings industry. The first day of the Global DIY-Summit was bought to a close by Jamie Anderson, Professor of Strategic Management at the Antwerp Business School, who highlighted the importance of Creative Leadership in a Complex World.

Gala Evening: The Global DIY Lifetime Award – Presented to John W. Herbert

The absolute highlight of the 8th Global DIY-Summit was the Gala Evening that took place in one of the most unique buildings in Copenhagen: the Lokomotivværkstedet. Steeped in history, this refurbished and repurposed locomotive workshop, with its floor to ceiling windows and candescent skylights, provided the perfect backdrop to present EDRA/GHIN General Secretary, an undeniable icon in retail, DIY and home improvement, John W. Herbert, with the Global DIY Lifetime Award.

Sergio Giroldi, CEO of OBI and EDRA/GHIN President, provided the laudation, highlighting “John W. Herbert [as] a true veteran of the Home Improvement and a friend to all.” Reinhard Wolff, President of HIMA, praised John and thanked him for “[making] the global DIY community look and feel like a village.” With his 66 years in retail, as well as his passion for networking, John W. Herbert has bought the world of Home Improvement together since the foundation of EDRA, GHIN, and the Global DIY- Summit. The extensive and prolonged standing ovation and applause expressed this one man's worth to the industry.

Second Day: THE NEW NORMAL - Adapting to a Rapidly Changing World

The second day of the 8th Global DIY-Summit saw a focus of sustainability and going beyond CSR, including an inspiring keynote from founder of Shift17, Mark Haviland, on “the Age of Responsibility.” Dilys Maltby, Senior Partner and Circus, delighted delegates with her thought-provoking presentation on “Putting Purpose at the Heart of your Business” and Wayne Visser, Professor of Integrated Value at the Antwerp Management School, concluded the session by exploring how we can transition from a breakdown to a breakthrough world.

Home improvement retail trends were presented by international companies such as KPMG and USP, with Llewellyn Walters, CEO of Wholesale at Massmart South Africa, and Benjamin Brechter, Head of Business Unit Home and Garden at Bosch Power tools, demonstrating how both retailers and suppliers are developing their offer to continue to engage customers and meet their growing demands. This session also included the exciting announcement that the newest members in the 'Power for All Alliance' are the world-famous Husqvarna brand, Kübler Workwear and PerfectPro. The Alliance is now made up of ten well-known and popular brands with a common goal: to offer users the best and widest cross-brand 18-volt battery system and thus maximise added value.

This year’s farewell speech was given by Joshua Coombes, Founder of #DoSomethingForNothing, who shared his work in the new generation of altruism and looking deeper than the surface when engaging and connecting with individuals.

In the final wrap-up, both Chairmen of the Global DIY-Summit, John W. Herbert (EDRA/GHIN) and Piet de Coninck (HIMA), reiterated how inspiring and energizing it had been to gather the industry and its stakeholders together again.

The General Manager of the Global DIY- Summit, Iñaki Maillard, summarized the entire event by saying: “After two years of pandemic, it has been a great pleasure to welcome the leaders of our industry, who bring great value to our event with their knowledge and expertise. The network represented by the hundreds of participants at this event are our greatest asset, so all our efforts will be focused on deepening those relationships with the most important decision makers in our industry in the years to come.”

The 8th Global DIY-Summit once again cemented the essential role the Global DIY-Summit plays in bringing the industry together. The necessity of these types of events was discussed amongst and by all delegates in the networking breaks, who echoed how rousing it was to see the industry gathered again, and who are already looking forward to the next edition of the Global DIY-Summit, taking place in Berlin from the 14 to the 16 June 2023.


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