Embracing change in DIY – How to Thrive in the Never Normal

Explore the expected trends in green living for 2024, including sustainable and small-space gardening. Growth in the home improvement sector.

The world of home improvement has just returned from coming together at the jubilee 10th Global DIY-Summit, which took place in “The Eternal City” – Rome, Italy.

Embracing change in DIY

Over 1,000 delegates from 55 countries attended the congress, including all of the top retailers, suppliers and stakeholders in our sector from around the world, again solidifying the position of the Global DIY-Summit as the most international meeting of the entire industry.

The 10th Global DIY-Summit unfolded around the central theme of Embracing Change in DIY – How to Thrive in The Never Normal, with sessions focused on Exploring the Never Normal, Ethical AI in Home Improvement, Innovation Xperience and its link to creativity and progress, Home & Health and the Well-Being Connection, Home Improvement Trends Across Continents, Market Updates on Home Improvement Insights and Sustainable Home Improvement and Scope 3 Solutions.

Day 1 – Economic Outlook, Transformation, The Never Normal, AI, Sustainability, Xperience and Health

On the opening day of the Global DIY-Summit the leading specialist in global economic issues, Dr. Ira Kalish, Chief Global Economist at Deloitte, enlightened the audience on the current Global Economy in a polycrisis world, ending with an optimistic message that real-term decrease in inflation is becoming apparent as consumers spending behaviour has shifted away from goods and more towards services. The CEO of OBI, Sebastian Gundel, shed clarity on his vision and goals for OBI; with an emphasis placed on building a strong leadership team, strengthening internal communications, underlining strong and trustful relationships with suppliers and a sharp focus on the four key pillars of growth – connected stores, partnering models, franchising and retail media.

Embracing change in DIY

Ken Hughes, the world’s leading shopper and consumer behaviouralist, and Peter Hinssen, renowned keynote speaker, author and serial entrepreneur, continued the programme with a session on Reshaping Realities and an exploration of the never normal led by two of the most influential thought-leaders in this area. The main takeaway of this session was the power of transformation, the increasing frequency of S curves of technology, and how we are more and more living in a world of unknown unknowns.

The next session focused on sustainable home improvement and the essential role of Scope 3 emissions reduction. Thierry Garnier, Group CEO of Kingfisher and President of EDRA/GHIN began the session with the launch of the EDRA/GHIN and Ricardo Scope 3 Accounting Guide and Strategy Document. Jamie Pitcairn, Technical Director, Corporate Sustainability at Ricardo plc, then took the baton and presented more information of the Scope 3 Strategy and Roadmap for the Global DIY Retail Sector before inviting experts from Kingfisher, Henkel, Maxeda DIY Group & Bosch Power Tools on stage to share their views on how we can tackle and reduce our Scope 3 emissions.

The first day of the 10th Global DIY-Summit was closed with presentations from Katie King, Author and CEO, AI in Business, on ethical AI in home improvement and Aidan McCullen, Author, Consultant, Lecturer and Board Director at Edge Behaviour, who broke down the importance of an agile mindset in times of change, reiterating the point made earlier in the day by Thierry Garnier that change is the only constant. The final presentation on the first day was given by global Healthusiast, Christophe Jauquet, on home and the ultimate investment needed in it for our health and wellbeing.

Day 2 – Home Improvement Market Insights, Collaborative Success and Home Improvement Across Continents

Nick Stene, Global Head of Home & Garden at Euromonitor International, began the session on Market Insights by imparting his view on the importance of data analysis and the essential role it plays in customer relationships. Craig Webb, President at Webb Analytics, continued the programme by presenting great ideas from DIY Centers in the United States beyond the Home Depot highlighting numerous examples of successful locally based chains in America that are adapting to best answer their local customer demands. Two partners from the bespoke consultancy firm OC&C, Duncan Simmonds and Bob Chermin, finished the home improvement market insights session by sharing their thoughts on the increasing length and complexity of customer journey. Their key takeaway is that we need to start looking further ahead as an industry in order to be more resilient and better prepared for what might impact us in the future.

Embracing change in DIY

Head of Ad Sales – Tools & Gardening at Amazon Ads, Jacob Minah, demonstrated how to act collaboratively for mutual success, with one of the key takeaways being the use of customer data to increase customer satisfaction.

The penultimate session of the 10th Global DIY-Summit provided insights into three of home improvement retailers from opposite ends of the world. The CEO of Mitre 10 New Zealand, Andrea Scown, began the session by sharing the culture of Mitre 10 New Zealand. Paul Candon, the CEO of United Hardware, then imparted his ideas of “Crafting Excellence”. Jonathan Nathusius, CEO of Group Cemaco, based in Guatemala, then gave a most astute presentation on the softer side of home improvement. Marc Henkens, E-commerce Manager at Hubo Belgium, finished the session with a most interesting presentation the future of the QR code powered by GS1.

The farewell session of the 10th Global DIY-Summit was hosted by Kayleigh Fazan, Founder & Managing Director at The International Retail Academy, on her experiences of inclusivity at the heart of retail and how this is key to reducing staff turnover.

The 10th edition of the Global DIY-Summit saw the world of home improvement reunite for three top days of programme on a number of key areas for the industry. These topics are becoming more and more essential to address to ensure continued success in the future as we evolve further into the Never Normal: a realm where uncertainty reigns and the only constant is change itself. 

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