Home Improvement in Western Europe

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Mar 2019

The generational shift taking place in recent years, together with recovering economies, has posed a threat to the home improvement industry in Western Europe which has seen players forced to find new ways to reach consumers. Led by mature markets and improving economic conditions, home improvement in Western Europe is able to record marginal positive growth but faces many challenges ahead.

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Home Improvement in Western Europe

Key Findings

Germany continues to be the largest market in Western Europe

The Western European home improvement market continues to be dominated by Germany, due to its long-standing tradition for DIY. This has made it an attractive area of investment for companies, as a good reputation in Germany can help become one of the biggest players in Western Europe. In contrast, Southern European countries, which have faced slower economic recovery, are now witnessing much more dynamic growth.

Generational differences in the target demographic pose threat to home improvement

The young adult population entering the home improvement environment lacks the necessary DIY skills to carry out major projects and generally prefers to outsource. The previous generation would have been taught these skills, but are now becoming part of a growing elderly demographic, thus less likely to carry out major projects. The shift in consumer behaviour is forcing manufacturers and retailers to evaluate new strategies to attract consumers.

Power tools record the strongest growth

The growth in power tools led by innovations in cordless tools, can be interpreted as a positive sign for the future of home improvement as younger consumers are investing in these to begin developing their skills with smaller DIY projects.

Specialist stores maintain status as the preferred purchasing channel

Consumers show that as a general trend there is still a preference for going to a specialist store to speak to an expert for recommendations, and see and feel the products. On the other hand, internet retailing is witnessing high levels of growth across the region as it guarantees stock availability and ease of use.

Western Europe's home improvement industry is highly fragmented

The large presence of high-quality private label products, and in less mature markets, the high reputation of local players, causes a highly fragmented environment for home improvement.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Stagnant historic growth in Western Europe as economies recover
Industry back to minimal growth as consumer power returns
Floor covering remains a main investment option for consumers
Despite large market size, floor covering registers negative growth
Growth in hand and power tools indicate a growing interest in DIY
Generational shifts force strategy changes by retailers and manufacturers
Specialist retailers continue to be the preferred choice for consumers
Millennials in less digitally connected areas lead retailing shifts

Leading Companies and Brands

Private label shows strong performance, especially in Northern Europe
Power Tools companies record strongest growth
Good performance in Germany translates to positive growth
Disruption in decorative paint shifts top players’ brand ranking

Forecast Projections

Modest growth expected for home improvement across Western Europe
Positive expectations for home improvement despite challenges ahead

Country Snapshots

UK: market context
UK: competitive and retail landscape
Germany: market context
Germany: competitive and retail landscape
France: market context
France: competitive and retail landscape
Italy: market context
Italy: competitive and retail landscape
Spain: market context
Spain: competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: market context
Sweden: competitive and retail landscape
Switzerland: market context
Switzerland: competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: market context
Netherlands: competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: market context
Turkey: competitive and retail landscape