Professional installation brands in a DIY store; is that acceptable?
DIY channel is opening more and more for the semi-professional and professional craftsmen. OBI, Hornbach, ScrewFix etc. already include in their product range some brands and products which typically would be used by professionals in the construction sector. Wilo and Grundfos pumps for example are to be found in the German DIY stores and Screwfix has their PlumbFix and ElectricFix for the (semi)professional installers. Attracting new types of customers is the new strategy of the DIY stores – mainly because of the clear trend towards more Do-it-for-me instead of do-it yourself jobs among the consumers. Following the market trends, some installation manufacturers are making small and careful steps towards the DIY channel, but the majority is still doubting whether to take this direction, being afraid of channel conflicts with their main partners – the sanitary and HVAC wholesale, but also with the professional craftsmen.
Uk seems to be the most positive
HVAC installers in the UK look the most positive at the fact that professional installation brands start to sell products in DIY stores. The most conservative country in this field is Germany. These are some of the results from the Q1 2017 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor. The survey is conducted on quarterly basis among 1,200 HVAC installation companies in 6 European countries. The HVAC installer in the UK looks the most positive among all countries at the fact that many professional installation brands start to sell products in DIY stores – 12% is (very or rather) positive and half of the installers is neutral towards this. The results from this survey showed clear differences between the countries and in the level of acceptance professional brands to be sold via DIY stores. The two extremes are UK and Germany.
What stands out in Germany is that none of HVAC installers and plumbers is positive about finding professional installation brands in DIY stores. The group of the neutrals is also quite small - 15%. The great majority of the German professional installers is rather negative (28%) or very negative (56%) and despite the fact that there are already professional products in the DIY stores in Germany, the tolerance towards this is the lowest of all countries. (see picture below).
Attitude towards finding specific professional products in DIY stores is more positive
Despite the prevailing negative attitude among the European installers, there are certain products from professional brands that installers would like to find in the DIY stores such as:
•Pipes/ tubes and fittings
Sanitary is accepted by the installer
Sanitary wear is also often mentioned by the installers as a product group they wish to find in the DIY stores, but this is already the fact. Among all countries, again the UK installers declare highest willingness to be able to buy different professional products in DIY stores, with this being the forerunners among the European installers.
On an European level, the general pictures shows that a large share of the installers is still conservative and do not like the idea the professional products to be available for the general public, looking further however shows that the negativism is not for all product groups, and there are certain products that the installers wish to be available at DIY stores. With the blurring lines between the different purchase channels it could be expected that slowly but surely the attitude of the professional installers will change as well and the group of neutrals in each country will most probably become more open and accepting the omnichannel strategies of the manufacturers.
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