Hornbach Baumarkt AG is celebrating the 50th anniversary of opening its first DIY store and garden center in Bornheim bei Landau in the Palatinate region, Germany, with a clear commitment to its own strengths and a big thank you to its customers.
On September 27, 1968, Otmar Hornbach opened the company’s first “DIY superstore” in Bornheim bei Landau in Germany’s Palatinate region. The store had sales areas of more than 4,000 square meters, making it exceptionally large by the standards at the time.
As well as size, another aspect also caused a stir in the emerging do-it-yourself sector – combining the DIY store with a garden store was a remarkable pioneering act in Europe, and one that quickly became standard across the sector. “That was a prime example of the courage needed to press ahead with innovations and purposefully move into forward-looking business fields. That approach runs like a common thread through all stages of our company’s development”, comments Otmar Hornbach’s son Albrecht, who together with his brother Steffen is now the fifth generation of the family to manage the company since its foundation in 1877.
The Hornbach Group now has more than 20,000 employees and operates 158 DIY stores and garden centers in 9 countries across Europe
Its product range, advice, prices, services, and stocking policies are all deliberately targeted at the needs of DIY enthusiasts and professionals planning to tackle projects in their homes and gardens. This strategy has been honed with further pioneering acts, such as the launch of the warehouse concept to ensure permanent availability of the larger volumes of goods needed for projects, and the development of the drive-in concept enabling customers to conveniently transport heavy and bulky goods.
“We see ourselves as the top address for projects and are consistently working to enhance our successful concept. The sixth generation is already getting ready to pass on the fire”, comments Albrecht Hornbach, CEO of Hornbach Management AG.
Digitization the retail format
At present, the company is working on digitization its retail format and is pursuing this project with absolute determination and great willingness to invest. By dovetailing its stationary and digital services, the company is providing customers with new and additional opportunities to prepare and implement their projects in precisely the way they want. Customers have recently been enabled, for example, to configure and order woodcutting services at the store by placing online orders from the comfort of their own homes.
Hornbach sees to the price comparison – now on a post-purchase basis as well
One key pillar of the company’s project strategy is the permanent low price commitment introduced in 1998. The company claims price leadership for itself, and this claim extends both to the DIY sector and to offerings at discounters and online retailers.
Hornbach foregoes discounts and campaign prices, but rather guarantees permanently valid low prices that are compared with competitors’ offerings on an ongoing basis. “We want customers to be able to buy all they need at one location, and that quickly and conveniently, and without having to waste time on extensive price comparisons and useless journeys to various providers”, explains Karsten Kühn, a member of the Board of Management of Hornbach Baumarkt AG.
HORNBACH is an independent, family-run listed company. In the 2017/18 financial year (balance sheet date: February 28, 2018), it increased its (net) sales by 5.1 percent to more than Euro 4.1 billion. Founded in 1877, HORNBACH is the only DIY sector player with a history stretching back six generations. It currently operates 158 DIY stores and garden centers and online shops in nine countries across Europe.
This article is part of the CEE DIY retail category from www.bricoretail.ro B2B publication and bring together news, in english, from Central and East Europe related with DIY and home improvement retail.
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