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One language – different markets

The situation for DIY-markets in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) is hallmarked by individual impacts. While turnovers in Germany and Austria grew, Swiss DIY-markets had to suffer from the rainy summer and the strong Swiss Franc.

Germany: DIY-markets’ garden departments successful

Moderate temperatures in the fourth quarter 2011 showed their positive effects on German DIY-markets’ turnovers. With this growth at the end of the year, the annual closure of the DIY-industry yielded a nominal surplus of 1.5 per cent. Thus, the total gross turnover of the currently 2.442 DIY-markets in Germany summed up to some 18.7bn Euros.

Germans favour DIY-markets also for shopping flowers and plants for their gardens, garden furniture and barbecue equipment for the next BBQ-party. In 2011, the garden departments in the DIY-markets generated a turnover of 4.1bn Euros, which equals an increase by two per cent compared with the previous year.

Austria: Positive consumption climate

“Don’t save, buy quality” seems to be the name of the game for Austrian consumers. This had a positive effect on Austrian DIY-markets, too. In total, they achieved a gross turnover of 2bn Euros in 2011, which is equivalent to a growth rate of 1.6 per cent. Especially the garden departments cashed in on the warm temperatures in April and May.

According to the current BHB/GfK-Report, this upward-trend will continue for Austrian DIY-markets in 2012. Contrary to business expectations, Austrians are not at all worried about their future income and thus, they do not tend to connect the crisis and the recession with their personal life. However, before money might diminish in value due to inflation, Austrians prefer to invest their money in their homes and gardens.

Switzerland: Strong currency hampers growth

Last year was a difficult one for Swiss DIY-markets. Consumption significantly diminished mainly due to the over-valuation of the Swiss Franc, which resulted in a nominal decrease of the annual turnover of 2.1 per cent.

The pleasant spring-like weather in the first quarter contributed to an unusually early but also very positive start of the season. However, the rain-swept spring and summer caused a severe slump in DIY-markets’ turnovers. Furthermore, due to the Euro-crisis the Swiss Franc was revaluated, which finally led to a price increase for merchandise and services. Thus, the Swiss went abroad shopping in their neighbouring countries.

Experts from the Technical University of Zurich expect a devaluation of the Swiss Franc this year. Depending on its scope, the federal DIY-association BHB reckons that a growth potential of the gross turnover of 1.0 to 1.5 per cent could be achieved in 2012.

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